Ex-MotoGP rider Hector Barbera will make his second World Superbike Championship appearance this weekend after being retained by the Orelac Racing team for Imola.

The Spaniard became the latest MotoGP rider to make the WorldSBK switch when he was called up by the Orelac team to replace the injured Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado at Assen.

Barbera – who competed in MotoGP between 2010 and 2017 – had been due to compete in the World Supersport Championship with the Team Toth Willirace outfit this year but left the team amidst a storm of drama that involved the team’s bike being ‘stolen’ from the paddock in Aragon.

Barbera finished just outside the points on his WSBK debut aboard the Kawasaki ZX-10R, with a pair of 16thplace finishes in Assen.

Mercado suffered a left scaphoid fracture and is set to undergo surgery this week after crashing in an incident involving Alessandro Delbianco in race one at Aragon.

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