Against expectation, Hector Barbera outpaced former and reigning 250cc world champions Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama - plus Alvaro Bautista - to be the leading 250cc graduate at the Valencia test.

Barbera has switched to the newly formed Aspar Ducati team for his debut season in the premier class, but defied both his and team's lack of mileage at this level to prove the best placed newcomer by the end of the three days.

Of the quartet, although Barbera is the second most experienced 250cc rider having completed five full seasons (Aoyama has six, Simoncelli has four and Bautista has three), his four career wins in the category put him behind his rivals on nine, twelve and eight respectively.

Nonetheless, having secured the runners-up spot in this year's standings, behind Aoyama, Barbera looked immediately comfortable on the Ducati, with crack 125/250cc team Aspar showing impressive pace on what it also its debut in the category.

The quickest of the four riders on the two final days, Barbera would manage the ninth fastest time - 1min 33.787secs - overall at the test's conclusion, less than two seconds slower than pace setter Casey Stoner and just a handful of tenths off the likes of Loris Capirossi and Mika Kallio.

An additional test session for MotoGP rookies has been arranged for Estoril next week, although currently only Simoncelli, Aoyama and Bautista have indicated they will participate.


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