According to crash.net…
Talks with Suzuki and Yamaha seem to have stalled, but Jorge Martinez ‘Aspar’ has revealed that Ducati is interested in supporting his MotoGP aspirations.
Aspar, who runs the Mapfre Aspar Team in the 250cc class and the Bancaja Aspar Team (including reigning world champion Gabor Talmacsi) in 125cc competition, is determined to step up to the premier-class for 2009.
However, despite the former racer’s impressive ability to attract sponsorship and his proven record of success as a team owner in the smaller categories, he has been struggling to secure a supply of premier-class machinery.
But the Spaniard has now revealed that reigning world champion’s Ducati, which currently supplies one factory and one satellite MotoGP team, is interested in the project.
“There have been some significant developments since France, there are new names in the frame,” Aspar told the official MotoGP website.
“There are more brands involved in the conversation and Ducati are taking a real interest in bringing the Aspar Team into the premier class, with Alvaro [Bautista]. We are keen too, and, as I say, we want to tie things up as soon as possible,” he revealed.
It is not clear whether any Aspar deal would be at the expense of the d’Antin team, or if – as motogp.com suggests – it would involve a fifth Desmosedici appearing on the grid.
But whilst Ducati is apparently keen to have former 125cc world champion Bautista on one of its bikes next year – presumably with an eye to the future – Martinez warned that it is by no means certain that Bautista will be the chosen pilot.
After a highly impressive debut 250cc season, Bautista was expected to dominate the 2008 championship, but is currently just eighth in the standings – and fell from the lead at last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
“We want our team in MotoGP, but it is a bit too early to say for certain that it will definitely be with Alvaro,” said Aspar. “I think he needs to rediscover his form and calmness and get back to winning grands prix.
“I truly believe that he is the best rider in the 250cc field and therefore I think that in the future we should be able to talk about things more specifically in terms of the rider for our MotoGP project.”
Meanwhile, it is possible that, by talking so openly of Ducati’s interest before a deal has actually been signed, Aspar is aiming to prompt ‘movement’ from the other brands with which he has been in discussion…
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