Aspar: Sponsor had clause to end contract in September
The news that Drive M7 had decided to pull out of sponsoring the Aspar MotoGP squad, while supporting the SIC Moto3 team, came as a shock to the paddock. Speaking to the media today Jorge 'Aspar' Martinez outlined how he found out about the Malaysian energy drinks company's decision.
"In February we invited them to make the first payment," said Martinez. "They were delayed until the end of February. Then at the beginning of March they said that they wouldn’t continue. It was really unexpected. There is no reason. They just left. The sponsor has told us to remove the logos."
Finding a new sponsor at such short notice will be exceptionally difficult for Aspar but the team have already been in discussions with previous sponsors and their hope is that for the next Grand Prix in Texas that they will have a new title sponsor.
"Now we are working. Next week I have many meeting with possible sponsors and we hope to have a new sponsor for Austin. It is a very difficult situation. Carmelo has been informed of everything and is helping us."
Martinez also admitted that in September of last year both the team and sponsor had the option to break their three year contract after the first year if either party wasn't happy with the relationship. Having endured a difficult season with the uncompetitive Open Honda Aspar eluded to the fact that he would have understood their decision if made at that juncture:
"The results of last year have not been good but that's not the reason for breaking the contract," said Martinez. "Last year in September the sponsor had the option to break the contract, there was an option for the team or the sponsor to end the contract then. It was a three year contract starting last year and in 2014 everything was fine."