2016 is a year that continues to get better for Hector Barbera after the Spaniard topped the Wednesday time sheets at a private test in Jerez.
Having finished as the third best placed satellite machine in the MotoGP championship standings, Barbera spent the first day at the Andalusian circuit acclimatising to Ducati's new GP16 machine.
After finding it difficult to adapt to the bike initially, Barbera made a set-up change during the day that resulted in immediate gains. The Spaniard ended the day 0.192s clear of Loris Baz, the second fastest MotoGP machine of the day.
“I'm pretty happy,” said Barbera. “It's been a good day. I tried this bike in Valencia and to be honest it was harder than I thought it would be. With this bike we've changed a lot of things, like the forks.
“We made a change that, which was an area we were suffering with a lot. We made a change that was like night and day in one minute. Before we were suffering, but after that I was able to enjoy it. Jerez is a track that I'm usually fast at and we have a lot of data from here.
“When I tried the new bike, it's better in all the areas. But I haven't had time to work with it so much. It's complicated but it's just a case of getting used to it. It seems the bike is better in braking. The suspension is better too.
“The bike is similar to what I had before, but the suspension is different. The brakes are different. It has different parts too. We're going to see what results we get.
“It's complicated. The bike hasn't done a lot of laps. It has distinctive brakes and suspension parts: things that, in theory, should help us. But we'll work and in Malaysia we'll work on it again.”
Picture: Steve English