Inaugural MotoGP CRT winner Aleix Espargaro has been undefeated in the privateer class during the five rounds held so far this season.
Such performances have seen the Aspar Aprilia rider mentioned in connection with a full prototype seat for 2014, and the Spaniard recently confirmed “some contact” with Suzuki.
But Aspar would doubtless be keen to retain Espargaro and there have also been rumours that Aprilia may upgrade the level of technology on the ART next year, when a Honda Production RCV and Yamaha engine lease will join the privateer class.
“Next year I hope I will have a better bike and we will see what my real potential is, because winning in CRT is not easy, but for sure all the best riders are on MotoGP [prototypes],” said Espargaro at Catalunya.
Until then Espargaro, who spent the 2010 season on a satellite Ducati, has his sights on trying to battle with the present Desmosedici riders.
“When I get back to the pits I always check where the nearest CRT is, but also how close I am to the top guys,” he revealed. “We are not so far away from the Ducatis. I would really like to battle with the Ducatis.”
Espargaro finished 39s behind race winner Jorge Lorenzo - for eighth place - last time at Mugello, the closest margin yet for a CRT rider.
Aspar team-mate Randy de Puniet has been signed as a development rider for the Suzuki project.