Barbera poised for Pons Moto2 move in 2018

Avintia Ducati MotoGP rider Hector Barbera is poised to join Sito Pons' Moto2 outfit in 2018.

Barbera poised for Pons Moto2 move in 2018
Hector Barbera, Avintia Racing
Hector Barbera, Avintia Racing
Hector Barbera, Avintia Racing
Hector Barbera, Avintia Racing
Fabio Quartararo, Pons HP 40
Hector Barbera, Avintia Racing
Hector Barbera, Avintia Racing
Loris Baz, Avintia Racing
Loris Baz, Avintia Racing

One of the underdog stars of the 2016 season, Barbera has suffered a disappointing '17 campaign on Ducati's GP16, recording just a single top-10 finish at Barcelona so far and trailing teammate Loris Baz – who uses an older-spec GP15 Ducati – in the points.

Avintia has already confirmed Marc VDS Honda rider Tito Rabat will be joining the team in 2018, and Moto2 rider Xavier Simeon is now considered likely occupy the Spanish squad's second bike.

It leaves Barbera out in the cold, but the Spaniard is set to return to the intermediate class, where he competed from 2005 to 2009 in its 250cc guise, in 2018.

He is set to join the Pons team, where French youngster Fabio Quartararo will lose his seat after a tough rookie Moto2 campaign.

"[Next year] I'll go back to Moto2," Barbera told Motorsport.com. "Staying in MotoGP for seven years, it's very difficult to stay in front and the Ducati is a very difficult bike.

"Now I want to win, and Moto2 is easier because all the bikes are similar and the rider can make the difference."

Barbera stood in for an injured Andrea Iannone at the factory Ducati squad last year at Motegi and Phillip Island, but crashed in both races.

The 30-year-old said he knew from that experience that this season was set to be a difficult one, as the issues he experienced on the works bike are the same ones he's faced in 2017.

"This year I have had a lot of problems with this bike," Barbera said. "When I do hard braking, I get a lot of vibration, chatter. It's impossible to push.

"When I tried this bike last year in Motegi, also I tried in Australia, both races I crashed. I didn't have a good feeling.

"When I tried it again after [last year's] Valencia GP, the same problem. After 10 or 12 races I have the same problem, it's impossible to push. I've had this problem all year."

Baz eyes WSBK return

Baz, meanwhile, said he would look to return to World Superbikes, where he raced in 2012-14 for the works Kawasaki team and picked up two wins, should he lose his Avintia ride to Simeon.

"Of course it what's I would try, the first option in case I can't stay here," the Frenchman told Motorsport.com.

"I always felt great in Superbike, I made some great results there, I left there a few years ago to come here. It's the second world championship, so it would be the best thing to do if I can't stay here."

2018 MotoGP rider line-up so far:

TeamRiders
Repsol Honda

 Marc Marquez

 Dani Pedrosa

Movistar Yamaha

 Valentino Rossi

 Maverick Vinales

Ducati

 Andrea Dovizioso

 Jorge Lorenzo

Suzuki

 Andrea Iannone

 Alex Rins

Aprilia

 Aleix Espargaro

 Scott Redding

KTM

 Pol Espargaro

 Bradley Smith

LCR Honda

 Cal Crutchlow

 Takaaki Nakagami

Marc VDS Honda

 Franco Morbidelli

 Tom Luthi

Tech 3 Yamaha

 Johann Zarco

 Jonas Folger

Pramac Ducati

 Danilo Petrucci

 Jack Miller

Aspar Ducati

 Alvaro Bautista

 Karel Abraham

Avintia Ducati

 Tito Rabat

 Xavier Simeon

shares
comments
Ducati/Honda battle now "completely open" - Dovizioso

Previous article

Ducati/Honda battle now "completely open" - Dovizioso

Next article

Yamaha must improve in wet to win title - Vinales

Yamaha must improve in wet to win title - Vinales
Load comments
Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward.

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Prime

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Prime

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Prime

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout.

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021