Hector Barbera feels primed to take a step forward with the factory Ducati GP16 after being confirmed as Andrea Iannone's replacement once again for Phillip Island.
Iannone has been out since he sustained a fracture to his T3 vertebra at Misano. Barbera was granted permission by his Avintia Racing team to fill in for the Italian at Motegi in Japan.
The Spaniard qualified in a strong eighth place but his prospects were thwarted when he fell on lap nine of the race while holding seventh position.
Former Australian Superbike champion Mike Jones will again ride alongside Loris Baz in the Avintia team at his home circuit after making his MotoGP bow in Japan, taking over Barbera's ride.
Barbera said: “Phillip Island is a track that is good for my riding style, and it's also good for the Desmosedici GP, because it has fast corners and other corners where the engine counts a lot.
“When I joined the Ducati Team at Motegi, it was all new for me: now I know the team and the bike better, and I know that we have everything we need to do well. The reality is that for me this is an incredible opportunity, and I'd like to thank Ducati and Avintia once again.
“Over the past few days I've been very calm, trying to take in all the information I picked up last weekend, but it's obvious that we will be aiming to make a further step forward at Phillip Island.”
Rookie Jones is hoping for a less daunting test on home soil this weekend as he prepares for his second premier class experience with the Ducati GP14.2.
“I'm very excited to be racing the second time in MotoGP at my home circuit on Phillip Island. It is fantastic to be racing with Avintia Racing and Ducati again, because I got to know the team last week when I raced with them at Motegi,” Jones said.
“It's great to have another opportunity with them on Phillip Island this weekend. I think things should be a little bit easier for me, as I know the circuit and I also know the bike, so hopefully things will go a bit smoother this weekend.
“I'm very excited because since it's my home GP, there will be a lot of support and the atmosphere will be fantastic. I can't wait to jump on the bike