While news came a few weeks ago that Jorge Martinez would finally get his shot at owning a MotoGP team, there was no word as to who the rider would be. Today that changed, with the announcement that the new Ducati team will feature Spanish 250cc star Hector Barbera.The 22-year-old Barbera started his career with Martinez in the 125cc class in 2002 and then the pair moved up to the 250cc class the following season. Now the Aspar team gets its chance in MotoGP and have hand-picked Barbera as its rider.

"It is undoubtedly great news for us to have signed Hector, especially because of our long history together," Martinez said in a team release. "In our previous association we won the Spanish Championship and various 125cc GPs, and I am convinced that we can have further success with this project. I am sure that next year we can get some great results and that this will be a long term arrangement. I am hopeful that Hector can become a factory rider, as this will mean that he would have earned some great results with us. For the team it is a dream come true to be able to line up in all three classes, in particular because we do so with a Valencian rider."Barbera sees the opportunity as a dream come true."I am very happy to be going to MotoGP, as to do so is the dream of every rider in the world," he said. "As a Valencian rider, I am especially drawn to the idea of working in the Aspar Team project. Right now the Ducati is a very competitive bike; the factory won the World Championship two years ago and the team and myself have a strong desire to do well. The goal for the first season in the premier class will be to adapt to the new bike and team as soon as possible -in order to get the best results possible. Now I am going to focus on finishing this season, in which I have six races to go, and when the year is over we will begin work on the new project."Barbera has won six 125cc GPs and two in the 250cc class. He currently rides for the Pepe World Pons team and is fourth in the World Championship.

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By Cycle News Staff

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