On a weekend that saw BSB’s international racing recruits steal the lion’s share of the headlines at Donington Park, Hector Barbera pulled off arguably the biggest surprise of all by almost securing a podium on his series debut.

Drafted in as a replacement for the injured Ben Currie at Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki, though the Spaniard – who started 139 MotoGP races during a tenure spanning 2010 and 2017 – has most recently been competing in WorldSBK’s for the privateer Orelac Kawasaki team, he has only ever started four Superbike races.

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Indeed, that relative inexperience makes his performance at Donington Park aboard the electronics-free Kawasaki ZX-10R all the more impressive after reaching SP3 and securing a sixth place finish in his maiden race. He’d go on to finish eighth in race two, before crashing out in race three whilst disputing a top six finish.

Though strong results in isolation – the best achieved by Quattro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki this year – Barbera’s efforts were especially notable for his pace in clean air, with fast race laps earning him a front row start in race two and a remarkable pole position in race three.

With this in mind, Barbera was delighted with the results despite being a ‘little angry’ with his crash at the end, which he put down to simply ‘finding his limit’.

“I’m very happy with the opportunity I have been given. The bike is very good and the team are fantastic. I need a little more time with the bike and the tyres; riding with no traction and no electronics. It is difficult as I only went on the bike on Friday morning.

“The last race was my best race despite crashing as every session was a testing session and each time we were learning.

“In the last race one changed to the softer front tyre but maybe the harder tyre would be better for me. Everything was perfect; the bike, the team, and I really like the championship.

“I had a lot of confidence in the last race and I pushed a little hard, I wasn’t sure of my limit but I found it! I am lucky as the weather has been good all weekend. However, I am a little angry as I think in the last race I could have battled for a podium!”

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