Another small piece of the puzzle slots into place in MotoGP's rider merry-go-round. The Pagina Amarillas Aspar Ducati team announced a contract extension with Hector Barbera, which will see the Spaniard return for another season on board the Aspar Ducati. The move had been widely expected, with Barbera living up to the expectations of the team.
During his stint in the 250cc class, Barbera had gained a reputation as a rather reckless rider, often being involved in race incidents and crashes. But Barbera has undergone something of a transformation in the MotoGP class, finishing every race but one so far, his only DNF caused by a broken chain at Laguna Seca. Barbera sits 12th in the championship standings, just one point behind MotoGP veteran Colin Edwards, and the third-best of the rookies, behind Ben Spies and Marco Simoncelli.
Barbera's contract extension is for one more year, but with Aspar looking to add a second bike to the team in 2012, the Spaniard has a very strong chance of having a longer tenure in MotoGP.
For the current state of confirmed and rumored rider signings, see the 2011 provisional MotoGP line up page.