Aspar Expands MotoGP Line-up For 2012
With the dust having only settled on the 2011 campaign just three weeks ago the teams and riders have been hard at work with post-season testing at Valencia, immediately following the final Grand Prix of the season, and at Jerez earlier this week. Much of development has been aimed at changes to MotoGP next season, when 1000cc machines return to the grid to replace the 800s and new CRT prototypes join the factory machinery in a move to make the championship more competitive and open it up to new challengers. The goal is to improve the spectacle on track, with the sensational Moto2 series as the blueprint.
The Aspar Team remains faithful to its ideals of developing, expanding and embracing new technologies, which is why they will be moving with the times next season and embarking on a new adventure for MotoGP as a Claiming Rules Team (CRT). Not only that but the team will be expanding from one rider, as they have had for the past two seasons, to two with Aleix Espargaró and Randy de Puniet providing a combination of youth and experience. Both have previous experience with the team, the Spaniard in 2009 and the Frenchman in 2005, and just as they did in the 250cc class class they will be powered next season by Aprilia. The Spanish team has enjoyed a relationship with the Italian factory since 1996 and together they have won four world titles as well as finishing runners-up no fewer than seven times. The Noale-based manufacturer will provide engines for the new CRT project, which is already underway with De Puniet having begun testing duties.
Jorge Martínez ‘Aspar’:
“We are really happy because we find ourselves with a brand new challenge ahead of us and we have full faith that CRT is the future of MotoGP, which is why we are amongst the first to join this initiative. As a team we continue to grow and after having a single rider for our first two seasons in MotoGP we will now have two in Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaró. I am pleased to welcome Randy back to the team; he was already with us back in 2005 and we have good memories. Aleix was also with us in 2009 although it was only for two races. We are sure that this will be a successful project with the riders we have but also with the engine supplier, which will be Aprilia. We always wanted to stick with them for this project because of the fabulous relationship we have with them and their pedigree in the smaller classes. Our objective this season is to be the best CRT team and to prepare for another step forward in 2013”.
Randy de Puniet:
“I am very happy to return to the Aspar Team, having already raced with them in 2005 during my 250cc career. I have very fond memories of that time and now we are taking on a new challenge together in the shape of CRT. I know that this is a very competitive team and they will be fighting to have the best material available. We have already tested and gathered a lot of good feedback. CRT is the future of MotoGP and even though we have a lot of work ahead of us it will be enjoyable. The objective for next season will be to adapt as soon as possible to this new prototype and gradually close the gap to the factory bikes. Testing at Jerez was very productive, we had good weather and managed to gather a lot of good data. The lap times were interesting even though we are obviously a long way off the motorcycle we will start the season with so I am very pleased with how everything is coming together.”
“First of all I am very excited to join the Aspar Team and especially to be returning to MotoGP, which is a huge source of motivation for me. In 2010 I had a pretty positive season and I would have liked to continue for another year. I think that with my height and weight I should be more suited to the category and I am sure we’ll have a good year and get some great results for the Aspar Team. CRT is a totally new concept and we will have a lot of work to do at the start but I have joined the Aspar Team because they comes with certain guarantees and I know they won’t take this challenge lightly. They are very professional and I am sure they will develop a great motorcycle. I am delighted to be involved with this new project.”
Source: Aspar Media