Aspar Celebrates 100 Victories
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since the Dutch TT of 1984, when Jorge Martínez “Aspar” took on the role of team manager Derbi but still showed his qualities as a rider by taking his first ever victory in the 80cc class. The man he had to beat was none other than local favourite Hans Spaan, which only made his final-lap win even more exciting. Afterwards Ángel Nieto told him: “No matter how many races you have won, savour this moment because you will never forget it.”
Four world titles and no fewer than 36 victories later, the ‘Apsar’ who lined up on the grid in Argentina was an entirely different man to that 21-year-old who came of age ten years earlier at ‘The Cathedral’. Ready to race his notoriously difficult Yamaha and with more than one Japanese job at stake, the veteran made a final corner pass on Ueda to secure the final victory of his stellar career. Today Jorge Martínez “Aspar” celebrates again, having watched his team take their 200th podium no long ago he is now left to reflect on a century of victories.
His own 37 wins as a rider have been complimented by another 63 as the leader of the Aspar Team, now a standard-bearing organisation within the MotoGP paddock. The circuit was Donington and the rider lucky enough to take the milestone victory and forever form part of the glorious Jorge Martínez “Aspar” story was Julián Simón. Faubel made his mark with seven wins, Elías and Porto with six each, Fonsi with five and his cousin Pablo with the only victory of his career; each has contributed to the Aspar Team’s winning pedigree. However, it has been without doubt Álvaro Bautista, the team’s leading light in the 250cc class, who has been the main heir to Jorge’s legacy, taking sixteen victories so far in “Aspar” colours.
The world of motorcycling has changed and continues to change dramatically since those early days – the circuits, the bikes, the way it is viewed. but one thing that has always remained is that youthful gaze of a fifteen-year-old who has never stopped dreaming despite the success and the inevitable passage of time…
Jorge Martínez “Aspar”:
“Who would have thought back in ’79 when I started racing that I could end up in such a privileged position? Looking back on everything we have achieved since then makes me enormously proud and happy. It is incredible to think back to when I was a 15-year-old, when I started racing bikes, and I have never been separated from my life’s passion. I am enormously proud to have a team with six riders in the World Championship, with 200 podiums recently and now 100 victories. There have obviously been a lot of hard times with crashes, injuries, operations and lean financial periods – times when you feel like throwing in the towel. However, I think that one of the most important things in life is consistency, as well as self-belief and fighting for your dreams. I would like to thank all the people who have contributed to the success of this team, from the mechanics to the chief engineers and of course all the sponsors and brands who have worked with us and without whom we could have never reached this glorious milestone.”
“What more can I say other than that it is incredible to form part of this team. Everything I have achieved in my career has been here and I hope I can add to it. My objective is to win at least as many races as Jorge, to whom I will be eternally grateful for showing faith in me from the beginning.”