Aprilia’s MotoGP effort could be dealt a major blow with its most high profile and successful squad contemplating ditching its ART machine for 2014.
The Spanish-based Aspar squad, which has dominated the CRT category with Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet, confirmed in Barcelona last weekend that it is locked in talks with Yamaha about a YZR-M1 motor lease deal next season.
Yamaha will lease engines to a maximum of four riders in 2014 and Scott Redding’s Marc VDS Racing Moto2 squad has also staged lengthy discussions about housing a YZR-M1 engine in a Kalex frame.
The Aspar squad, run by former 125GP world champion Jorge Martinez, is in talks with Swiss chassis specialist Eskil Suter to design and build its bespoke frame.
Martinez said: “We are speaking with Yamaha because for us it is the most interesting option because they told us that the performance of the engine will be the same as (Cal) Crutchlow’s.
"It will have different electronics running the standard hardware and software but with 24 litres of fuel that will be very interesting. We are talking with Suter for the chassis and he is quite interested.”