Avintia held its 2016 team launch in very different conditions to next month's Qatar MotoGP season-opener, opting for the snowy slopes of Andorra!
Avintia has retained last year's Open class champion Hector Barbera, who will be partnered by new signing Loris Baz for the start of the new era of Michelin tyres and unified ECU software.
Baz came to the main stage riding his Ducati Desmosedici on the snow of the Grandvalira Ski Resort, while Barbera came down from the mountains riding a snow bike.
The pair have performed impressively during testing to date, Barbera using his familiarity with the GP14.2 machinery and former Open software to set the third fastest lap time at Sepang and fifth best at Phillip Island.
“It's a pleasure to be able to do our team presentation in such a great environment,” said the Spaniard. “The winter tests haves been really good so far, the whole team is with high motivation and we are doing a great job, so I think this year we can be closer to the front. I'm looking forward to start the first race at Qatar.”
Baz, who fortunately emerged almost unscathed from a massive 290km/h tyre failure at Sepang, backed up Barbera's pace with seventh on the timesheets in Australia.
“The team launch has been incredible, although the grip of the tyres in the snow was not great I enjoyed riding my Ducati in those conditions,” said the Frenchman, who spent his debut MotoGP season at Forward Racing. “I'm really happy with my new team and I think we can do it very well this season. The last test in Phillip Island was fantastic and the difference with the factory teams is not as big as in the past.”
Later this afternoon, Barbera and Baz will ride their Ducatis through the city streets.
The Avintia team-mates will then be back in track action during the final official test from March 2-4, in Qatar.