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Barbera: Kawasaki 'fooled' us over MotoGP plans

“Then we fully realised what the situation was and we felt that we'd been fooled. Of all the things that we'd been promised, nothing came true” – Hector Barbera.
Hector Barbera has launched a scathing attack on what he claims was a string of broken promises from Kawasaki to provide factory support to the Avintia team in MotoGP this season.

The Spanish team has run its own Kawasaki ZX-10R based machines in MotoGP for the past three years, initially under the CRT rules and then the new-for-2014 Open class.

“The goal for this season was that Kawasaki would participate in the championship with us as a factory team,” Barbera told the official MotoGP website. “And therefore we would have factory development and factory support.

“The reality was that when the season began nobody from the factory came. We had no support. The data would go to Akira, which is a third-party tuner and not to Kawasaki. The development from race to race was minimal. It all came from Akira and not Kawasaki.

“That's when we began to lose motivation a little bit… whatever we did get was worse than what we already had, because it was obviously not manufactured by the Kawasaki factory but by this group of engineers from Akira.

“Then we fully realised what the situation was and we felt that we'd been fooled. Especially me. I felt very disappointed because at the end of the day, it's me who has to be on-board the bike. Of all the things that we'd been promised, nothing came true.”

The Spaniard then gave the specific example of suspension: “We were promised that we would have official Showa suspension, but the season began and we were just given standard Showas to try. It was supposed to be just to prepare the bikes quickly for the tests, but in the end it was the suspension we had for the whole season. Nobody from Showa came. It was just standard suspension. It was another example of how bad things were.”

Salvation finally arrived in the form of an agreement between Avintia and Ducati, which included handing an Open class Desmosedici to Barbera for the final five rounds of this season. Team-mate Mike di Meglio will also move to the Italian machinery for 2015.

“From Barcelona onwards we were looking for a way out of the situation,” Barbera revealed. “It's unbelievable that Ducati has given us the opportunity to ride this bike. Gigi Dall'Igna has seen me grow in the other categories and the fact he's given me the Ducati means he believes in our potential. The support from Carmelo [Ezpeleta] has also been very important. He understood how much we were struggling. The arrival of Ducati has changed everything for the better.”

After scoring just two points on the Avintia machine this year, Barbera has already claimed 19 points on the Ducati - including fifth place at Phillip Island.

Kawasaki raced in MotoGP as a factory team from 2003 to 2008, when it announced a withdraw due to the financial crisis - but was ultimately forced to run an unofficial 'Hayate' entry in 2009 for contractual reasons.

While Suzuki and Aprilia will return to take on Honda, Yamaha and Ducati in MotoGP next season - with KTM planning a 2017 debut - Kawasaki remains on the sidelines.

Tagged as: Kawasaki , barbera

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November 05, 2014 9:44 PM

Guna4699: thank God cal was not riding for this team this season... Another thing, if cal was in this team we would have known about this kawasaki issues in fIrst few rounds itself...
What in gods name has this got to do with somebody called cal ??


November 05, 2014 2:46 PM

Why would Kawasaki make a deal to support Avintia just to renege on it? Are they trying to embellish an already tarnished reputation in MotoGP? And with Ducati stepping up it seems a major loss of face for the Japanese firm.

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