Breaking his left leg (fibula & tibia) during a training accident, Pramac Ducati’s Hector Barbera will be unable to ride for the next four to six weeks. Missing MotoGP’s stops at Laguna Seca and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pramac will replace Barbera with two-time former-MotoGP racer, Toni Elias.
Replacing his fellow countryman at the Laguna Seca round, and likely at the Indianapolis round as well, Elias himself has some interesting news, as the former-Moto2 Champion was ousted from his Moto2 ride on the Mapfre Aspar team. Elias’s results during his return to Moto2 have been anything but impressive so far this season, especially after his dominant Championship win in 2010.
Moving back to MotoGP in 2011, Elias had an abysmal return to the MotoGP Championship last season. However, the Spaniard is still one of the most qualified replacement riders for the series in the GP paddock, and his newly found unemployed status also makes him one of the least encumbered riders as well.
While the timing for Elias is impeccable, the news is a blow to Hector Barbera, who had one of his best outings yet on the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 at Mugello. Qualifying on the front row, Barbera was the fastest Ducati on the starting grid, a feat he accomplished without his customary tow behind a faster rider — something that the Spaniard has become notorious for, much to the ire of his fellow riders.
“Obviously I’m disappointed about the incident. It happened in the worst period possible. I had a great feeling both with my bike and with my crew,” said Barbara. “In the last three races I was able to enjoy while I was riding and fighting with the factory riders to achieve the best result possible. I could catch other brilliant results in the next round in Laguna Seca and Indy, but it’s the life and now I have to think only about my injury and my rehabilitation.”
The news is also bad timing for the Pramac team, which is heavily tipped to be going through the motions of its final MotoGP Championship season. Hopefully for Pramac Ducati and Elias, Toni the Tiger can put some good results down on that career-ending Ducati. Third time is a charm, ehh Toni?
Source: Pramac Ducati; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved