This weekend’s final round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship at Valencia in Spain holds extra significance for Reale Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera and Loris Baz.

Both riders will be competing for the last time in the premier class before taking on new challenges in 2018, with Barbera switching to Moto2 while Frenchman Baz is set to move back to the World Superbike Championship.

Barbera is steeling himself for an emotional farewell this weekend but the Spaniard is also looking forward to the future.

“Valencia is my home Grand Prix and for me it’s always special to race on the Ricardo Tormo Circuit,” said Barbera, who will ride for the Pons Moto2 team in 2018.

“This year, it’s even more special because it’s the last race with the team that I’ve raced with in the last five seasons and that has become my family. It will also be my last race in MotoGP and after eight years in this class I look forward to new challenges in Moto2.

“I have no doubt that it will be a very nice and emotional weekend, but I want to focus on working hard from the first practice on Friday to get ready for Sunday’s race,” he added.

“I want to finish this stage of my career with a good result for my team, for me and for all the sponsors that have been supporting us always.”

Baz, linked with a move to the Althea BMW WSBK team, is eager to end his stint in the premier class on a high and admits the 2017 MotoGP finale will be have a ‘special’ feel.

“It’s going to be a special weekend. It will be my last MotoGP race for now, before starting another chapter in my career,” he said.

“Valencia is also special for the team, it’s their home race and that is why I will try to give my best. We will push at the maximum from Friday and our goal is to finish in the top ten.

“This goal has become more difficult to achieve with every race, because all the factories improved a lot, especially KTM and Suzuki. But we’ll try. I would like to get a good result to conclude my two-year-partnership with the team on a high note,” he added.

“I have a house near the circuit, so it’s also like a home Grand Prix for me, and I hope I can enjoy this last race.”

Tito Rabat and Xavier Simeon will spearhead a new-look MotoGP line-up for the Avintia Racing team next season.


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Still a travesty that talented riders like Barbara and Baz are having to give up their rides because self-financed (or family financed) riders can afford to buy their way to the top.

Not so sure about Simeon but Tito's World championship trumps the outgoing riders achievements. Barbera still has good backers and is staying in the paddock, Baz's days were numbered when Zarco gave the French a better reason to wave the Tricolour.

Success in Moto2 matters not at all if you can't ride a MotoGP bike, which clearly Tito can't.

Baz is on a 2 year old Ducati and is 16 points ahead of Rabat.

Barabara isn't having a good year this season with the GP16, but on the GP15 last year he finished 73 points ahead of Rabat..  *73 points*

Good to see some other voices finally speaking up about Tito, been bothering me for months how poorly he's performed since his move to the top class.

Be interesting to see if he can ride a Duc instead...

Agree with the comment about Baz vs Zarco as well - people forget how your Loris actually is, so hopefully he'll get another chance in the paddock.

Hector on a Moto2?  Totally didn't see that coming...

moto2 is going to be a bloodbath in 2018 

so many title contenders and so much talent  - half the grid  pose a serious threat.

Is this reference Barbera's move back or just in general?

Not convinced necessarily Hector will be a title threat - moving back to Moto2 didn't exactly set Yonny's career on fire again after all.

But in general, I'm looking forward to Moto2 2018...

Agreed, Moto 2 will be serious next season. Can't wait.

When Baz was given the ride in MotoGp over the likes of Sykes and Rea, many people, myself included,  said that he didn't deserve it, or at the very least there were riders that deserved it more. And consequently we were all proved right. He came, did nothing of any note and he is leaving. He failed miserably like many of us predicted. 

Failed?  Did you expect him to win the championship or something?

He was on a 2014 bike last year and a 2015 bike this year.  Want to know who beat him both years on the same machinery?  Nobody.

He's 18th in the championship on the oldest bike in the paddock.

Smith has a factory bike and has 21 points less than Baz.

Lowes is also on a factory bike and has 40 points less than Baz. 

People love to point out how Lowes' hasn't been receiving the updates that A. Espargaro has been getting.  How many times do you think Ducati has updated Baz's 2015 Desmo?

Baz was never going to be fighting for regular top 6, but I bet going into the final round next season neither Rabat nor Simeon will have 45 points.

Both Baz and Barbera have done perfectly well in Motogp. Hector particularly last season and the season before. He will definitely go well on Moto2. Mark my words.