Aspar and Kawasaki explain reasons for impasse
Saturday, 18 October 2008
After a lengthy planning and negotiation process the hopes of Jorge Martinez `Aspar´ of adding a third bike onto the 2009 MotoGP grid appear to have come to an end.
Discussions involving Jorge Martinez `Aspar´ and Kawasaki on the subject of a third factory bike from the Japanese firm in next year´s MotoGP World Championship look to have hit a dead end.
Aspar told motogp.com on Saturday, `We have ended up in a situation where Kawasaki are insisting that we have a Japanese rider, (Shinya) Nakano, on the bike. Although I consider Nakano to be an exceptional rider, for us, with Spanish sponsors, we need a rider from our country. This has been the main obstacle. It is a shame because we were really excited about it and really wanted to take this 2009 MotoGP project forward. We have been trying to get into MotoGP for two years now but in the end it hasn´t been possible.´
`We will keep working towards being in MotoGP in 2010. That is my main aim because in 125cc and 250cc we are already achieving what we set out to achieve. We are going to put all our efforts towards that, as a team and with our sponsors so that we have an agreement at the end of this season with one of the factories for 2010.´
Giving his perspective on the situation Kawasaki´s Competition Manager Michael Bartholemy is trying to keep a positive viewpoint and has not given up his hopes completely at this stage.
He said, `Their sponsor is Spanish and it is difficult for them to pay for a rider who is not Spanish. So it looks like we are lacking money and we have to find a big amount. I spoke to Mr Martinez directly and we said it is a shame to give up on the project because he has a very good rider coming in 2010 and there are still many positive points, so he has said he will do his best, maybe with another sponsor. We have maybe some possibilities so I hope we still have a chance in the next few days to find some money.´
Meanwhile, referring to his plans for next year in the smaller classes, Aspar added, `With regard to 2009 we are clear that we will have Bautista involved again, but will still need to decide on our second 250cc rider. The final decision will depend on whether we have a Hungarian element in place, with Gabor Talmacsi. In 125cc we have already sorted contracts with Julian Simon and Bradley Smith and we wait to see if we will run a third bike. We are tying up all the loose ends and I want to finalise things next week.´