Aspar's Aleix Espargaro is 'counting down the hours' to the opening round of the MotoGP World Championship in Qatar next weekend.

Espargaro was speaking at the Aspar Team's official launch in Madrid this week, which generated huge media interest.

Jorge Martinez's Aspar enterprise represents the largest private effort in the world championship, with a significant presence in all three MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 classes.

Espargaro, who is joined in the Power Eletronics-backed MotoGP team on the CRT Aspar Aprilia by Randy de Puniet this season, said: "I am counting down the hours for the season to start and an event like today's just gives you that feeling that it's close.

"Last week we unveiled the Aspar Team MotoGP project in Valencia and here we are again for Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP together in Madrid. It was an interesting and enjoyable presentation with an incredible amount of media interest, which I expected.

"Once again the Aspar Team have put together a consistent squad of riders with the opportunity to succeed in every category," he added. "Today we got an idea of the size of this team now and I want to thank every member for the effort they put into making it possible."

De Puniet already feels like a valued member of the Aspar 'family' and paid tribute to the team for granting him the opportunity to join the ranks in MotoGP in 2012.

"It's amazing to see how many people are involved in the Aspar Team project: sponsors, team members, assistants, collaborators. The secret is how the Aspar Team blends all these ingredients together," he said.

"They have accepted me like one of their own and today gave me an impression of how important I am to them, which makes me happy. I want to thank Power Electronics and all the other sponsors and team members for the opportunity to sign with such a fantastic outfit.

"Now we are looking forward to hitting the track in Qatar and hopefully coming back with a good result. Pre-season has been excellent so hopefully we can carry that form throughout the rest of the campaign."

De Puniet and Espargaro laid down a marker as the leading CRT riders at the final pre-season test at Jerez in Spain, emerging as the fastest riders on the prototype machines to set the benchmark for next weekend's opening race in Qatar.


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