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Barbera on CRT: Fun and surprisingly powerful
15 November 2012
After spending his first three MotoGP season on satellite Ducati machinery, Hector Barbera got his first taste of CRT machinery during this week's rain-interrupted Valencia test.
Barbera - who claimed his first front row start at Mugello, but was injured in a training accident shortly after - has signed to ride for the Avintia Blusens team in 2013.
The Spaniard made his FTR-Kawasaki debut with 42 wet Laps on Tuesday, then a further 26 laps in drying conditions on Wednesday.
“Clearly the weather was not on our side but I am happy with the work we have done,” said Barbera. “These days we have ridden numerous laps in short runs which enabled me to set everything up to my liking and discover a little more about how the motorbike works.”
Comparing the FTR-Kawasaki with the Desmosedici, Barbera said: “The sensations were of course quite different from what I am used to but it's positive because the bike is fun to ride, the engine is surprisingly powerful and I think it's got potential.
“[On Tuesday] we worked with the engine brake and other aspects to try to understand the bike a little bit better. There are still a lot of things to be tried and improved. Actually this is not the definitive  bike so that's why I think we are going to do a good job.”
Avintia will have an all-new line-up for 2013, with Barbera's former 250cc rival Hiroshi Aoyama riding the second machine.
Aoyama, who experienced a disappointing season in WSBK this year, made an early MotoGP return with Avintia during the final grand prix of the season.
The Japanese then made some big set-up changes for day one of testing - and fell twice.
“During the GP we didn't want to bring huge changes or make too many tests before the race. [On day one of testing] we did the exact opposite and make drastic changes in order to trigger the behaviour we were looking for,” he said.
“I crashed twice in the course of the day but fortunately I was able to carry on working. As the day came to an end we obtained valuable information regarding the adjustments to be made in the wet and we made interesting conclusions.”
Aoyama then sat out day two: “I was achy from yesterday and I preferred to rest.”
Avintia MotoGP team manager Raúl Romero hopes that the team can finally escape the wet weather in its forthcoming Jerez test.
“It rained in most GPs and every time we had tests,” he said. “It may sound like a joke but the rain has been a crucial factor in our evolution. I only hope it won't rain in Jerez - where the next tests will take place - so we can finish off the year with our two new recruits in the dry and go further with the bike's development so we are completely ready for the 2013 season.”
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