Barrier crosses the pond to join MotoAmerica in Austin

Picture: GeeBee Images

Former WorldSBK star Sylvain Barrier will make his MotoAmerica debut at Circuit of the Americas this weekend as he joins the Scheibe Racing squad.

Reuniting to German manufacturer BMW - with which he has already won back-to-back titles on European soil in 2012-13 - the 28-year-old Frenchman is looking to return to winning form on the S1000RR he knows so well as the US series supports MotoGP in Austin.

Two days of shakedown tests at Texas’ impressive Circuit of the Americas facility earlier this month provided Barrier with his introduction to both team and track as he makes his move to the United States.

The test also gave a further debut for the Frenchman as he navigated the 5.513m circuit on US Dunlop rubber, concluding his intensive initiation sixth fastest of the SBK class in the combined times, despite running only superstock machinery.

“April’s testing was my first time on the bike and the track, and I really love the COTA track here! It was also my first experience of the US Dunlop tyres. I know I have a lot to learn and to discover the sensations, but for a first day it was good,” said Barrier.

“I know that I can go faster, but I also want to progress thoroughly, I know it is too easy to push before you are ready. The first day was about taking my time, as it’s important to make the base settings as strong as we can in preparation for a good season.

“Everything has gone well, we still have a lot of work to do especially with the electronics, but I’m quite happy with the lap times. Okay, in the end the lap time was not great but my ideal times are promising and I just need to put it all together. With the package we have at the present time, to go faster than this is quite tough because we are running standard frame, electronics, just the front forks and brakes are improved, we have a standard engine and we are racing in the Superbike class.

“Together this is tough, as we don’t have factory support or finances but for sure if we continue to work, get our heads down, with time it will come. For sure, with work to the electronics it will help us to do it.”

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