No Aspar involvement in Kawasaki rescue deal

1 of 1

Jorge Martinez won’t be involved in any potential Kawasaki MotoGP rescue deal for 2009.

The Spaniard had effectively ruled himself out earlier this month when he doubted a deal could be clinched on his own terms.

And Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta, who had initially urged Martinez to mount a takeover bid for the Japanese factory squad, has confirmed to MCN that he won’t be involved in a last-minute rescue deal.

Martinez, who currently runs successful 125 and 250 teams, had wanted to secure a minimum three-year deal with a factory.

He wanted to nominate at least one rider for the team, even though John Hopkins and Marco Melandri have contracts with Kawasaki for ’09.

He also wanted guaranteed factory support from Kawasaki and a long-term deal to join the premier class ranks after Kawasaki announced it would withdraw its factory team from MotoGP with immediate effect in early January.

Ezpeleta told MCN: “I think Aspar is not interested in this matter with Kawasaki. If it is possible, the team must be run by the same people that were running the project before they took the decision to withdraw.”

Kawasaki team boss Michael Bartholemy flew to Japan yesterday (Tuesday) for crunch meetings with senior management. He is expected to find out whether Kawasaki will provide bikes for a privately run team later this week.

Failure for Kawasaki to be involved in some shape or form in the 2009 series is likely to see them hit with a massive £20m fine for breach of contract.

Kawasaki signed a contract with Dorna in 2007 that committed them to supplying bikes until the end of the 2011 campaign at least.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt