Hector Barbera put the disappointment of his factory Ducati appearances behind him by claiming his best ever MotoGP result on his return to the Avintia team, at Sepang.
The Spaniard had been targeting a MotoGP best after being called up to replace the injured Andrea Iannone at Motegi and Phillip Island, but race incidents scuppered his hopes in both factory outings.
However he couldn't hide his delight after charging from 13th to fourth during the wet Malaysian MotoGP, holding off team-mate Loris Baz and Suzuki grand prix winner Maverick Vinales at the chequered flag.
“I'm really happy because this fourth place is incredible and also my best result in MotoGP ever," Barbera confirmed. "After two difficult races in Japan and Australia I really needed this result to get a boost of confidence and energy before my home race in Valencia. There is no doubt that this result came in the right moment.
"But although I'm very happy for myself, I'm also extremely happy for my team-mate Loris, because he needed it even more than me. This result is fantastic for the whole team. We are showing this season that with hard work, big efforts and huge passion you can achieve important things.
"Avintia is the best example, because we don't have the resources of many teams, but in passion we are world champions. We are in the top ten [in the world championship] after 17 races, ahead of many factory bikes, and we go to Valencia determined to give our best again to close this fantastic season with the best possible result.”
Baz added: “Before the race I was praying for rain, because the last three weeks have been really tough for me. After this weekend, we go back home with a big smile on our faces.
"If we look at the dry track time I've spent this year riding my bike, it is obvious that I'm far away from the pace, so I needed some confidence and you can only get that fighting and working hard every single day. But this result is what we were looking for to get a boost of morale and work even harder.
"This has been a really good race and I enjoyed battling with Hector. It was also an amazing result for the team. The race was difficult because with less water on the track my rear tyre was overheating, so this top five is fantastic. Valencia is my team's home race and feels also like a home race to me as I have a house close to the circuit, so we will try to keep the momentum and fight for the best.”
Currently using the 2014 Ducati, both Barbera and Baz will remain at Avintia next season, when Barbera will race a GP16 and Baz a GP15.