Every elite motorcycle racer brims with confidence. But there are times when a rider can get a bit tipsy after drinking too much of his ego.
Take Hector Barbera, for example.
Pramac Ducati satellite rider Barbera was asked Wednesday at a Grand Prix of Valencia PR function for his opinion about American MotoGP veteran Ben Spies and Italian Moto2 standout Andrea Iannone landing the two seats with the Ducati "junior" team next season, which will be run by Pramac. Barbera will drop to CRT with BQR after losing his Pramac ride.
Barbera pointed out it's good for MotoGP to have American riders. But Barbera said he was only four points behind Spies' factory Yamaha in the standings before the Spaniard suffered a broken leg in training before Laguna Seca, forcing him to miss three consecutive races.
"So maybe I deserved it more (than Spies)," Barbera said to Spanish media about the Ducati junior ride.
Barbera must be auditioning for a stand-up comedy gig or be drunk on hubris. Spies has won a MotoGP race; Barbera has not. Spies has produced six podium finishes and a pole in three seasons in the premier class; Barbera has zero in both columns during the same span.
Hector has some renown in MotoGP. He did lap quite competitively early in the 2012 season, but came under criticism by other riders for trolling on the track with the intent of following them to assimilate their lines. Both Lorenzo and Rossi's crews, at one time, had special pit signs to let them know when Hector was looking over their shoulder--a graphic of a tricycle.
Finally, Spies has won a championship in a global series. Barbera has not.
Barbera would have made a debatable point if he said he deserved the second Ducati ride more than Iannone, who will be a premier-class rookie in 2013.
But Barbera's insistence that he should have received the nod from Bologna over Spies is daffy. It's also another indication of the anti-American sentiment and lack of respect for riders trained anywhere besides the World Championship ladder system that percolate never far from the surface in the MotoGP paddock.