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Aspar to maintain Kawasaki presence?

Kawasaki could still be involved in MotoGP this season after Aspar manager Jorge Martinez revealed he is in talks with series organisers Dorna to revive his stillborn project.

Aspar were close to graduating to the premier class in 2009 with a third Kawasaki entry, but the deal fell through after disagreeing on the manufacturer's choice of Shinya Nakano, rather than the Spanish rider Martinez's sponsors desired.

Nonetheless, Martinez claims to have been contacted by Dorna, who are desperate to retain a fifth manufacturer presence on the 2009 grid as it looks increasingly likely the series will start the season with a somewhat paltry 17 bike line-up.

Speaking to Italian newspaper Gazetta dello Sport, Martinez admits he is interested in reviving the project and keep Kawasaki racing as a privateer entry.

"Negotiations to take over the two Kawasaki (bikes) have started,” he said. “I don't know with certainty when or if this opportunity will become reality. I'm willing to negotiate. We'll see."

Although Aspar could face the same issues as last time if their sponsors demand a Spanish rider again, both John Hopkins and Marco Melandri would be tempting propositions for the team nonetheless.

Hopkins alone comes with extensive backing from energy drinks company Monster, while Melandri comes with experience that would prove tempting for a burgeoning team.

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January 05, 2009 9:48 PM

MotoGP started feeling rotten for me the moment Biaggi got sacked. Love or hate the guy he provided a lot of entertainment and THIS was the only class he belonged in. I know HRC has clout but...meh whatever. IMO this might really be the end of motoGP, all it would take is for Rossi to switch to WSB and you can start putting dirt on top of the casket. I'm sad about all this, sad to see Kwaks go, and I don't think Aspar will turn the Kwaks around even if this goes through.

Wiggysan The Dude

January 05, 2009 12:45 PM

I really hope this Aspar / Kawasaki deal come good. Even though Team Green did not set the world alight, the idea of ANOTHER team going is just bad news. Roberts, Illmor, Aprilla and even KTM from the 250''s ..... its no good. With WSB getting BMW & Aprilla back, MotoGP needs to pull its socks up & quick. Even if like Kropotkins wrote, that he might only run 1 rider, well its better then nothing. Its a last minute deal, but I feel the best man to pull it off is Aspar. Good luck.

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