Quattro Kawasaki team boss Jack Valentino has heaped praise on stand-in rider Hector Barbera after the Snetterton Bennetts British Superbike round, saying the team now understands a lot more about the bike.
Barbera was called in to ride for Glenn Irwin, whose tonsillitis turned into a sight-blurring viral infection as the week progressed, and Valentine appears to be impressed with the former MotoGP star’s feedback to crew chief Phil Marron.
“It’s been a very productive weekend after bringing Hector in at the last minute; he’s a very experienced rider and did a good job for us at Donington,” said Valentine.
We’ve made a lot of progress with the chassis and now understand a lot more about the bike, which has paid off on Ben’s side too this weekend.
“He was not familiar with the circuit and he had a fuel pump issue in qualifying which was no one’s fault but put him down in 14th on the grid. I think if he’d been in about eighth, he would have made some good progress.
“It was hard being in 14th on a new track as you can put a lot of pressure on yourself to move forwards and then end up with a problem.
“In race two we made another really good step forward with the bike and his times were great. He made up nearly five seconds on the riders in front of him and had the pace to run in fourth place. He needs to work on his starts and get away with the leaders as that is the key.”