Rookie Hector Barbera says he refuses to 'truly believe' he is a MotoGP rider until racing finally gets underway for the opening round of the 2010 season at Losail, Qatar.

The Spaniard steps up to MotoGP in 2010 as part of the Paginas Amarillas-backed Aspar team, which itself is graduating to the main flight after focusing on the 125 and 250cc classes in recent years.

Expected to be in close competition with his former 250cc rivals, fellow newcomers Hiroshi Aoyama, Marco Simoncelli and Alvaro Bautista, Barbera has shown competitively during pre-season testing thus far and insists he now feels ready to race.

"I am excited and can't wait to get out on track for the first practice session of the first Grand Prix of the season. I'm really looking forward to seeing how I compare to the other riders on track.

"I know I am a MotoGP rider now but until I see myself there at a Grand Prix, actually racing with these guys, I won't truly believe it. It's fair to say pre-season was short but we have made the most of what time we had and now we're ready to race.

"Losail is a circuit I love - I've been on the podium there for the past three seasons including a win last year. I feel comfortable at circuit with a lot of fast corners, like this one. The experience of racing at night is like nothing else, it's really special. It doesn't change anything though - we have to be fast in any kind of conditions."

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