Following recent announcements in Brazil that Alex Barros would be free to seek a new MotoGP ride for 2004, Honda Racing Corporation has finally confirmed that the 33-year-old will ride alongside Nicky Hayden in the official HRC Repsol Honda team.

Barros, who is making a good recovery following pre-Christmas surgery on an old shoulder injury, is scheduled to get his first ride on a 2004 Honda RC211V at Sepang over 11-13 February, before moving down to Phillip Island for three further days of action between 17-19 February as part in the official HRC winter testing programme.

His new team, now operating under the guidance of crew chief Ramon Forcada, is currently in Sepang with Hayden, and looking to making sufficient progress to ensure a flying start with Barros in the February tests.

Forcada worked with Barros for two years in the West Honda Pons team in 2001 and 2002, and guided the Brazilian to two victories and two podiums in the last four races of 2002 when he was given the opportunity to ride the four-stroke RC211V.



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