Aspar is to be renamed as the 'Angel Nieto Team' in tribute to the late '12+1' world champion, a former rival and mentor of Jorge Martinez 'Aspar'.

In addition, Angel's son Gelete will join as team principal for 2018.

Aspar's racing activities extend from the Spanish Championship and Moto3 Junior World Championship, to the Moto3 and MotoGP World Championships.

“Ángel Nieto is synonymous with motorcycle racing, a sport that gave him so much and to which he gave so much in return. Motorcycle racing is what it is in Spain thanks to the man who laid the first stone and we want to pay homage to that fact by renaming our team the Ángel Nieto Team,” explained Jorge Martinez 'Aspar', a four-time world champion as a rider, who has overseen a further four world titles as a team boss since hanging up his leathers in 1997.

“You would always learn so much from being alongside him. Ángel helped so many people, me amongst others, and he was an important part of my life, as are his sons Gelete and Pablo [now team manager of Sky Racing VR46] and his nephew Fonsi [now rider coach at Pramac Ducati].

"Ángel was particularly excited about this whole project. He trusted me to give Gelete his start in racing and he told me, 'I know that with you he will learn'. To be able to pay tribute to his memory and continue with this project in the hands of his eldest son, who was one of the first to ride for my team, gives me enormous pride.”

Gelete Nieto competed with Aspar from 1993 to 1997, picking up a European Championship victory in Barcelona and another in the Spanish Championship at Jerez, as well as making 28 Grand Prix appearances.

“I took my first steps in racing with Jorge Martínez 'Aspar', he guided me to the top step of the podium in the European and Spanish Championships," Gelete confirmed. "He has always been an important person to our family and alongside him I am now about to start a new chapter of my professional life in a team that will carry the name of my father.

"2016 was his 50th season in the World Championship and I am sure he would have loved to be around for a few more. Motorcycles were his way of life and through this team we will make sure he remains in touch with his great passion."

Gelete was the first of the Nieto family to race for Aspar, soon followed by his brother Pablo and cousin Fonsi.

Standout moments included Pablo's victory in the Grand Prix of Portugal in 2003 and Fonsi's 250cc World Championship runner-up season in 2002.

Aspar added that Ángel Nieto “was the reason why so many Spaniards, including myself, his sons and so many others, wanted to dedicate our lives to racing and became champions of our passion.

"Thanks to him, we have the best fans in the world. Ángel will live forever, he will never leave our hearts and with this gesture he will be even more in our minds, if that were possible, as we continue to produce champions and keep the flame of our passion for this sport alive.”

Aspar will run Alvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham on Ducati machinery in MotoGP next season, plus Andrea Migno and Albert Arenas on KTMs in the Moto3 World Championship.

Bautista is one of the Aspar Team's four (125cc) world champions alongside Gabor Talmacsi, Julian Simon and Nico Terol.

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