The Aspar Team are to expand their MotoGP presence next season by fielding two bikes, as Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaró fill the seats of the Aprilia powered CRT machines.
The Aspar Team is the latest to join the grid in 2012 with CRT (Claiming Rules Team) bikes, after signing Randy de Puniet who had previously hoped to secure a seat at Rizla Suzuki before they pulled the plug on MotoGP, Asparhave also secured the services of Aleix Espargaró.
I am delighted to return to the Aspar Team, a team I raced with in 2005 in 250cc. I have very fond memories of that time. Together we will embark on a new challenge, CRT.
De Puniet completed two days of testing with the Aspar Team riding Aspar's Bridgestone-shod Aprilia RSV4 test mule, the same bike that was tested at Valencia, by former MotoGP racer and Aprilia test rider Alex Hoffmann. De Puniet was using the test to understand what the Aspar team's Apriia is capable of, as the bike would be the basis for their CRT entry, and both the rider and the Aspar team management felt they had the potential of a good setup.
On the other hand, the Italian firm set have been linked for almost fifteen years during which time they have won four titles and seven runners up so the Aspar Team have decided to agree with Noale house outfit to be the supplier of engines for its CRT team.
"We are convinced that this challenge will be very successful, both with the riders and the engines, which will be supplied by Aprilia. We wanted to work with the brand in this new project because of our good working relationship and for their proven capabilities in smaller categories. Our goal this year is to be the best CRT and prepare to go a step further in 2013."
Randy De Puniet
"I am delighted to return to the Aspar Team, a team I raced with in 2005 in 250cc. I have very fond memories of that time. Together we will embark on a new challenge, CRT. I realize that this team is very competitive and will fight for the best material, in fact I have been able to train with them and the conclusions have been optimal. CRT is the future of MotoGP and I think there will be a lot of work ahead, but a very rewarding work. The goal for the next season will be to adapt as quickly as possible to the prototype, and gradually catch the front runners."
"Training in Jerez was productive and I was able to get a lot of information about the bike. It’s clear that we are still far from what the final motorcycle will be, but I'm very happy with how everything has happened. The test in Jerez gave me the opportunity to realize the enormous potential of the new concept of CRT,and I am proud to be one of the pioneering riders in this new category."
"First of all, I am very excited to be on the Aspar Team, and returning to MotoGP is a big motivation for me. 2010 was quite positive for me and I would have liked to stay another year. I think for my weight and my height I can adapt well to the category and the bike."
"I am convinced that the year will go very well and I'll get great results for the Aspar Team. CRT is a completely new class, and we will initially have a lot of work, but I have chosen the Aspar Team is because I know it is a team that will face the new category very seriously. They are very professional and certainly developed a great bike. I am delighted with this new project."