Ducati's introduction of the junior team strategy, dropping support for the satellite structures that had previously been fielded by Cardion AB and Pramac in MotoGP, has had at least one casualty. With the signing of Ben Spies and Andrea Iannone, there was no more room for Hector Barbera at Ducati. The dropping of Barbera raised eyebrows in some quarters, as Barbera has regularly matched and sometimes even beaten the pace of the factory Ducatis this year.
Barbera may be out of Ducati, but he is not out of MotoGP, however. According to Spanish website Motocuatro.com, Barbera has signed a two-year deal to race with the Avintia BQR team for the next two seasons. The Valencian rider will be racing a CRT machine, most probably an evolution of the Kawasaki-powered FTR bike which Yonny Hernandez and David Salom are currently racing, though no confirmation of equipment has been forthcoming. Barbera turned down an offer from IODA to race the Suter BMW for two seasons, electing instead to stay with the Spanish BQR squad.
Who will line up alongside Barbera for 2013 is not yet known. Current rider Yonny Hernandez has made a big impression in his first year of MotoGP, and has acquired a large fan following with his spectacular riding style. Hernandez is also proving popular in his home country of Colombia and other parts of South America, a market Dorna is very keen to conquer.
With Barbera signed, the number of seats filled has now reached 14. For a full overview of the current MotoGP grid, see our 2013 provisional MotoGP grid page.