Aspar in talks to save Kawasaki team
Former GP champ in negotiations with Dorna
Martinez, the manager of Aspar Racing Team which competes in the 250cc and 125cc championship classes, is reportedly in discussions with MotoGP organizer Dorna Sports to run a satellite Kawasaki team for 2009. The manufacturer is expected to officially announce the withdrawal of its MotoGP team within the next week, leaving contracted racers John Hopkins and Marco Melandri without rides for 2009.
“At the moment I’m on vacation with my family,” Martinez told Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport. “However, since it has been known that Kawasaki was not taking part next season, my vacations have practically finished.
“For the last two days I’ve been on the phone with Dorna. They called me first. We are in contact and talks to buy out the two Kawasakis have started.”
Kawasaki and Aspar held discussion about forming a satellite team in August 2008 but negotiations reportedly fell through after Kawasaki insisted the team signed Shinya Nakano to be one of its pilots.
Aspar has found some success as one of the top teams competing in the 250cc and 125cc classes. Riding on Aprilia bikes, Bancaja Aspar 125cc racers Gabor Talmacsi and Hector Faubel finished one-two in the 2007 championship. In 2008, Talmacsi finished third in the 125cc class while Mapfre Aspar Team’s Alvaro Bautista finished second in the 250cc class.
Kawasaki to quit MotoGP?