Aspar Racing is set to renew a deal with Ducati that will see the Italian manufacturer supply the team with machinery for 2018 and beyond, as team boss Gino Borsoi confirmed, "It makes no sense to change [machinery] at the moment."

Talks between the team and manufacturer began at the first race weekend of the year, and although a few details are still to be decided, Borsoi said both parties are "really close" to finalising the deal. An announcement "will be really soon," he said.

It appears the deal will not be for 2018 alone, with Borsoi stating the agreement "is not just for one year," suggesting Aspar will run Ducati machinery in '19 too. A spokesman from the Bologna factory confirmed discussions are aimed at both sides renewing for two further years.

The Spanish outfit has enjoyed a positive start to 2017 with riders Alvaro Bautsista and Karel Abraham carrying strong preseason form into the opening races. Bautista claimed a fine fourth place in Argentina, a race for which Abraham sensationally qualified on the front row.

"In Qatar we started discussing with Ducati a plan for the future," Borsoi told in Austin. "I think shortly we will close the deal with them. We will define which kind of bike [we will have] but I am pretty sure that we will have at least one GP17 and on GP16 or both bikes will be '17 bikes.

"But this is something we started to discuss just a few weeks ago. It [an announcement] will be soon. Really soon. Even before [the beginning of June]. We are really close.

"[The length of the deal] Is up to the team. Maybe they decide to just have one year because in the future the plan of Carmelo [Ezpeleta - Dorna CEO] is to have satellite teams with all the factories. It's up to the team. Our programme is not just for one year."

Pressed on whether having GP17s available for both its riders in 2018 is dependent on sponsorship or results, Borsoi said, "Let's say both! Money first and the results [second].

"Anyway, I'm pretty sure they will find a way to check that the bike is a '17. I have no doubts about Ducati. For sure they will find a way soon. At the moment I think the best thing for us is to have two '17 bikes but let's see what's going on."

It has long been known that series organiser Dorna is keen for Suzuki, Aprilia and KTM to boost its presence in the class by supplying machinery to satellite teams in the coming years.

Aspar has long had associations with Aprilia, after securing four rider's titles for the Noale factory in the 125 class in 2006, '07, '09 and '11. On whether switching manufacturers for its MotoGP operation was even in consideration, Borsoi said, "No, not at the moment.

"Our target is to stay with Ducati because we are honestly really happy with the bikes and especially with the relationship between us and Ducati. And, well, why change? We have started very well the season. We [would] have to start from zero again, to start from a different condition. So, at the moment, no ideas to change.

"Honestly, we didn't sit down with Aprilia and start to discuss about that. So even then, they didn't come to us and ask. Our communication [in the past] was with Aprilia of course but especially with [Gigi] Dall'Igna [Ducati's technical director who worked for Aprilia when the Aspar team enjoyed domination in the 125 class].

"Now Dall'Igna is in Ducati so it's easier for us! But, of course, we have good friends in Aprilia also. We want to continue with Ducati. We have a good plan in front of us so it makes no sense that we change at the moment."

The news of Aspar's intentions came at the end of a weekend in which Avintia announced its renewal with Ducati for 2018. With Pramac racing also intending to stay with the Bologna marque, it appears for the third season in succession there will be eight Ducatis on the '18 grid.

"There should be [eight Ducatis]. I think this is the normal way. From what I know, and what I've said before Suzuki has no plan to have a satellite team. KTM too. At the moment they're just not ready. They have a good potential of course. Maybe in the future.

"But we need to look forward and look for the result. With Alvaro, even Karel, and Ducati, we have a chance to make a really good result this season. It makes no sense to have one season, change again and then start from zero."

In Austin Avintia announced it will have GP17s available for both its riders in 2018.


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