Hector Barbera's hopes of capitalising on his impressive sixth place on the grid for the 2011 MotoGP opener in Qatar were scuppered by a grip issue that afflicted him throughout the race.

The Spaniard had been one of the weekend's revelations on the Mapfre Aspar Ducati as he consistently proved the quickest of the Ducati contingent - notably ahead of Valentino Rossi - throughout the timed sessions.

However, having qualified on the second row of the grid, Barbera proceeded to struggle with rear grip in race conditions to gradually slip down the order and eventually cross the finish line in 12th position.

Though determined to take the positives away from the weekend, Barbera couldn't help but be disappointed with the eventual result.

"It was a difficult race for us. I wasn't riding comfortably right from the start, and I had realised that the bike wasn't working entirely as it had been yesterday. I had noted this in the warmup. I didn't understand what had happened, but all I knew was that there was no rear grip. I had to hold off the gas, because if I went into the corners at speed then I would slide about.

"It made me angry that all my braking points were changing about, and I wasn't able to ride the same way that I had done all weekend. We are looking at the origin of this problem, and the telemetry shows that the bike wasn't performing like it had done this weekend.

"We shouldn't get too down about it, because we just had some bad luck that is sure to change for the better in Jerez. I will look on the bright side; we were doing very well over the past few days and are gradually finding the way to go this season."



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