Jorge Martinez 'Aspar' could take over development of the Aprilia Moto2 project, after the Noale factory seems to have undergone a last-minute change of heart regarding the new world championship class.
A stalwart of the 250cc World Championship, Aprilia planned to supply and develop a 'factory' chassis for the new four-stroke category - which will see all machines powered by identical, Honda-built, 600cc engines and Dunlop tyres - with the Mapfre Aspar, Speedup Aprilia, Ajo Motorsport and Cardion AB Motoracing teams expecting to use the Aprilia design.
But although the Aprilia chassis is 'almost' complete, question marks now surround the future of the project - with Aprilia considering using its resources to expand its WSBK project from one to two teams and also mulling a future return to the MotoGP class, when the championship is expected to allow modified production engines from 2011 or 2012.
“The [Aprilia Moto2] bikes are almost ready and I hope to have them for tests scheduled for December 9 in Valencia,” GPone.com
quotes Aspar as saying. ”It's a little late for them to think again.
"In my opinion to abandon the Aprilia Moto2 project at this point would be a huge mistake, because the experience in the new category could be useful in 2012 or even in 2011, when the changes take place in MotoGP.
“If Aprilia's intention is to return to MotoGP [running a production-based engine in a prototype chassis], then Moto2 could be the ideal test-bed to do it."
Aspar has already signed Mike di Meglio and Julian Simon for the 2010 Moto2 season.
Meanwhile Aprilia, which last raced in MotoGP during 2004, is soon expected to confirm the signing of British Superbike champion Leon Camier to ride alongside Max Biaggi in its factory WSBK team next year.
A second team could be set up to run MotoGP refugee Alex de Angelis.