MotoGP: Bautista to remain with Aspar Ducati for 2018
2006 125GP world champion Alvaro Bautista will remain with the Pull&Bear Aspar Ducati squad for the 2018 MotoGP season, after signing an extension to his contract with Jorge Martinez Aspar's squad at the German Grand Prix that was announced this week.
The extension comes as a reward to the 31-year-old for a strong start to the 2017 season, taking a series of strong top six finishes in he first nine races of the year to be right in contention for the top satellite spot in the championship battle.
But, with more potential still to come for him after a series of crashes as well, Bautista says he's looking forward to another year with the squad.
"I am happy to be spending another season as part of the Pull&Bear Aspar Team family. It is a union that can help both the team and myself to grow. We are having a strong season, I have a good relationship with the team and I feel very comfortable on the Ducati and with the support from the factory. I think we can continue to improve and achieve good results.”
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But four-time world champion and team boss Martinez says that with their support deal with Ducati already signed, he's confident that the team can achieve their goals next year as well.
“It is good news for the Pull&Bear Aspar Team that we have reached this agreement with Álvaro Bautista: we believe in him and we are enjoying a very strong season. We also have a lot of faith in Ducati, we get great support from the factory and through extending this relationship, together we can improve even more. I hope this year still holds many more high points like the ones we have enjoyed already, and that next season holds even more still."
However, the deal further complicates the situation at Aprilia, with former rider Bautista rumoured to be on the list of potential replacements for Sam Lowes despite the Brit rider's contract for next year.
It may help secure the future of at least one British rider in the series, though, with Scott Redding also rumoured to be in contention for the spot.