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Alex Barros profile

By Dan Moakes
August 27 2005

Alexandre “Alex” Barros
nationality · Brazilian
born · 18 October 1970
grand prix début · 1986

Easily the most experienced rider in Grands Prix, Alex Barros passed the 200 race mark in 2002, and looks set to continue as one of the top racers for some time yet. Famous as a late-braker, he has ridden a number of different bikes to good effect during thirteen seasons in the top class, particularly since joining the Honda Pons team in 1999. Recent campaigns have seen him become more consistent, and shake off his reputation as a crasher. He returned to Honda in 2004

1978
Won on his racing début in the Brazilian minibike championship

1979
Brazilian Moped Champion

1980
Brazilian Moped Champion

1981
Brazilian 50cc Champion

1985
Brazilian 250cc Champion

1986
World Championship 80cc début
Alex lied about his age to secure his first GP entry at fifteen. He first raced an Autisa at the Spanish race in Járama, and two later eighth places gave him thirteenth equal in the final standings, on six points

1987
Continued on in the 80cc class, with Arbizu, Autisa and Casal bikes. Three top ten results, including seventh at Misano, allowing him to finish seventeenth overall, on eight points. Qualified in the top six twice

1988
World Championship 250cc début - entered one race on a Yamaha but scored no points; 3rd in Latin American 250cc championship

1989
Continued on a private 250cc Yamaha TZ, with seven top fifteen results. The best of these was ninth in Anderstorp, and he finished eighteenth overall, with 30 points

1990 Corse Cagiva, number 28 Cagiva
Débuted in the 500cc GP series - the youngest rider in its history - and finished eighth in the United States and Germany, and fifth in Belgium. Points in five other races took him to twelfth overall, on 57

1991 Cagiva, bike number 12
As team-mate to Eddie Lawson, Alex managed 46 points, finishing five times from six races. The best of these were sixth at Laguna Seca and fourth in Misano, and his total amounted to thirteenth in the table. He qualified on the second row four times

1992 Cagiva Team Agostini, number 12 Cagiva
This season saw Barros’ first visit to the podium, when he was third in the Netherlands after leading for the first time. In the next race Lawson took the Cagiva to victory, but the Brazilian did not improve on his Assen result and, with only five scoring results, finished the season thirteenth, on just 29 points. He qualified on the second row four times
Also won a Japanese championship race at Sugo

Alex Barros 1993 - photo by Elliot L Doering
photo by Elliot L Doering · e_doering@yahoo.com

1993 Lucky Strike Suzuki, number 9 Suzuki
Alex really broke through in 1993, when he joined Suzuki as Kevin Schwantz’s team-mate. After coming close to victory more than once, especially in Jeréz, the Brazilian rounded out the season in style. He qualified third at Laguna Seca, finished second, and then went on to take his first victory at the Járama race. The year yielded five other top six results, and 125 points, making him sixth overall. Schwantz was that year’s champion
Also finished seventh in the Suzuka 8 Hours, with Peter Goddard

1994 Lucky Strike Suzuki, number 6 Suzuki
Barros scored in all but one of the year’s events, and was in the top six half a dozen times. His best result was second at Assen, and a tally of 134 meant eighth in the final table

Alex Barros’ 1995 Honda - photo by Elliot L Doering
photo by Elliot L Doering · e_doering@yahoo.com

1995 Kanemoto Honda, number 9 Honda
In his first season on an NSR, Barros was unable to get onto the podium again, but twice qualified in the top six. His consistent run of fifths, sixths and sevenths in the races meant he scored another 104 points, which was good enough for seventh position overall

1996 Honda Pileri, number 7 Honda
Barros started the year by finishing second in both Malaysia and Indonesia. He later added a third in Holland and a fourth in Australia. Several other good scores gave him 158 points, and a career best of fourth in the championship

1997 Honda Gresini, number 4 Honda
Four sixths and three eighths were capped by his eighth podium, third in Britain, and Barros finished the season in ninth, with 101 points
Also finished second in the Suzuka 8 Hours, with John Kocinski

1998 Honda Gresini, number 9 Honda
A better season saw Alex finish fifth twice, fourth at four further venues, and third at Brno and Buenos Aires. His consistency elsewhere helped him to fifth position overall, with 138 points
Again finished second in the Suzuka 8 Hours, this time with Sete Gibernau

1999 MoviStar Honda Pons, number 5 Honda
In his fifth season on a Honda, Barros found top six results to be a bit more scarce. With his best work being fifth in Britain, fourth at home in Brazil, and second in Italy, he nevertheless remained in the top ten, with 110 points giving him ninth for the year
His biggest success of 1999 came with victory in the Suzuka 8 Hours, where he shared a Honda with Tadayuki Okada

2000 Emerson Honda Pons, number 10 Honda
A truly inspired Alex emerged in 2000, despite the fact that his team relied on year-old Hondas. The Brazilian put his machine on the front row for nine races, including three poles, and was a frequent factor in the victory hunt. He was unlucky in Barcelona, but duly recorded wins in Holland and Germany, and a second in his home race. He finished the season in fourth position, but his 163 tally was only seven points behind Max Biaggi in third

2001 West Honda Pons, number 4 Honda
The form book continued into 2001, although the pitched battle for supremacy between Valentino Rossi and Biaggi meant that Barros only scored a lone wet weather victory, at Mugello. His best qualification of third was repeated four times and, altogether, his results included an impressive ten in the top six, with seconds in Spain and Japan, and a third in Britain. Once again, this amounted to fourth overall,with 182 points scored
Also finished second in the Suzuka 8 Hours, with Tadayuki Okada and Shin’ichi Itoh

2002 West Honda Pons, number 4 Honda
Always a step behind the works team, Honda Pons campaigned the latest NSR500 in 2002, against the new generation RCV four-strokes. Barros managed some impressive showings in the circumstances, especially at Assen, where he was second, and in Jeréz and Donington. These rides earned the Brazilian a late chance to run the RCV, and he immediately delivered a pole, two fastest laps, two wins, a second and a third. Altogether, this gave Alex a total of 204 points, and fourth overall - only eleven points away from second-placed Biaggi. With his stock thus raised, Yamaha then won the race to sign Barros for 2003
Also finished third in the Suzuka 8 Hours, with Yuichi Takeda

2003 Gauloises Yamaha Tech 3, number 4 Yamaha
Despite injuries, Alex secured a run of top eight results, including third in France, and fifth in both South Africa and Spain. He was second on the grid at Le Mans, and made the second row a few times

Alex Barros 2004 - photo by www.SportsPics.co.za
photo by www.SportsPics.co.za

2004 Repsol Honda Team, number 4 Honda
With Valentino Rossi switching to Yamaha, Alex rejoined Honda to spearhead their works effort. For the second year, the Repsol bikes were out-performed by customer Hondas, and Barros wound up fourth overall, with four podium visits but no wins


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