Former MotoGP contender Hector Barbera will remain on the World Supersport grid for 2019 with a move to Team Toth Yamaha.

The Spaniard was axed from Moto2 squad Pons HP40 midway through this year after being convicted of a drink-driving offence and returned to racing for the final four rounds of the season in World Supersport with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing.

Having produced points in every race, including the highlight of seventh place in the weather-hit Qatar finale, Barbera will return for a title tilt in 2019 with Hungarian squad Toth on a Yamaha YZF-R6.

The 2009 250cc world championship runner-up is naturally relishing a first full campaign at World Supersport level as he looks to emulate 2018 world champion Sandro Cortese who won the title in his rookie year.

“I moved to WorldSSP for the final four rounds of last year and really enjoyed riding in the category,” Barbera said. “I received different offers for 2019, but in the end, I decided to stay in Supersport because I believe I have room to improve here and be able to fight for the victory soon.

“At this point of my career, all what I want is to be back fighting at the front and with this choice I think I will be able to do so. After meeting with the team, I understood they have a good package and Yamaha has been winning in the category recently. I can’t wait to be back at work.

“At the end of January will be out testing and I am already working hard and focusing on my fitness to be back to the first round of the season at Phillip Island at full strength.  I would like to thank Team Toth, my manager, my sponsors and Yamaha for this big opportunity.”

Barbera spent eight years on the MotoGP grid before returning to the intermediate class in 2018 with Pons HP40 before being sacked which led to his World Supersport switch.