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Third Kawasaki abandoned.

Jorge Martinez 'Aspar' has confirmed that his hopes of securing a third Kawasaki ZX-RR for the 2009 MotoGP season are now over.

Negotiations between Aspar and Kawasaki have stalled on several previous occasions, but have now broken down altogether over the issue of rider choice and the implications this has for sponsorship.

As previously reported, Aspar wanted a Spanish rider to please the sponsors lined-up to fund the project, but Kawasaki has been insisting on handing the bike to its former factory rider Shinya Nakano.

Aspar had initially hoped to sign Toni Elias or Carlos Checa, but was recently learning towards Aprilia's 250GP race winner Alex Debon.

It was thought that a compromise might be found whereby Kawasaki would increase its financial input in return for Aspar running Nakano, but the two sides remained too far apart and the deal has been abandoned.

"We have broken negotiations and it has left a bad taste in my mouth, but I prefer that it is this way," Aspar told Spanish sportspaper AS.

"Although it hurts me a lot, because I have been working for three years to set in motion a serious project in MotoGP, I cannot begin it with Nakano as the rider," the former racer explained. "He seems excellent, but he does not fit in my project because he is not marketable with a view toward my sponsors, they are Spaniards and for them I want a Spanish rider at any cost.

"If it must be Nakano, then the budget could not be financed only by [my sponsors] but also by Kawasaki. Now I have to speak with my sponsors again at Valencia and, from there, we will do a new plan for the future."

Aspar had some sympathy for the difficulties of providing a third factory machine for manufacturers like Kawasaki and Suzuki, which currently field only a two-rider factory team.



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bitte in bit - Unregistered

October 18, 2008 12:03 PM

Better Kawasaki at first build their own bike & team to prove ZX-RR is a good project and than talk seriously with people like Aspar. Some times Japaneses are silly with their patriotism. Spanish sponsors should learn this lesson too:)

Gambalungaa - Unregistered

October 18, 2008 4:22 PM

If Yamaha can supply bikes to the same spec as its works machines to an Aspar team as well as for Toseland and Edwards (appreciating they will fall behind in development as the year progresses), and possibly others too in the future, Yamaha could save the class before Dorna wrecks it completely. It will be like the TZ era all over again. Bloody marvellous!



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