Aspar Martinez with Randy De Puniet and Aleix Espargaro

Aspar Martinez with Randy De Puniet and Aleix Espargaro

 

Aspar open to Suzuki talks for 2014

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 12 February 2013 09:54

The Spanish-based Aspar squad has said it would welcome the opportunity to speak to Suzuki about the prospect of running the Japanese factory’s new 1000cc MotoGP project in 2014.

Suzuki plans to return to MotoGP next year after a two-year absence with a two-rider factory effort, but its return its not without stipulations from Dorna.

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has made it clear Suzuki will not be granted a new entry to return to the premier class next season and the Japanese factory must collaborate with an existing entry.

Dorna’s condition of entry is designed to protect teams that have supported the championship through difficult economic times.

Jorge Martinez’s Aspar squad has been hotly-tipped to collaborate with Suzuki, not least because of current rider Randy de Puniet’s negotiations with Suzuki about a test and development role throughout 2013.

But Aspar manager Gino Borsoi told MCN that no talks have taken place with Suzuki about a team partnership next year.

Suzuki had a small delegation of management attending last week’s Sepang test but no formal discussions took place with any of the current teams that were all present in Malaysia for the first track action of 2013.

Aspar currently runs the Aprilia ART machine for de Puniet and Aleix Espargaro and Borsoi told MCN: “Sure it is an interesting project for us but we have only talked with Suzuki about Randy being their test rider.

During the season we will try to understand the possibility of making an official team for them. We have started to talk with Aprilia about the future but we will see in the season which is the best project for us next season.”

The Aspar squad will certainly be in a prime position to judge the potential of Suzuki’s 1000cc project if de Puniet finalises a testing contract for 2013.

The Frenchman is close to agreeing a deal that could see him test the new Suzuki at least six times and he would be able to make a direct comparison with the Aprilia ART bike he is currently riding.

Borsoi confirmed that de Puniet has the full consent of the Aspar squad to join Suzuki’s development team and he said: “It is not a problem for us. Randy is a good rider and we have a really good relationship and he asked to us to make some tests with Suzuki and why not?

It is interesting also for us because we will clearly understand the difference between our bike and Suzuki’s, so it is a good situation.”