Jorge “Aspar” Martinez hopes of entering MotoGP with Spanish rider Alvaro Bautista in-tow seem to have disappeared today. After calling an emergency meeting with the young Spanish rider today, Aspar had hope to be able to persuade Bautista to not sign with the Rizla Suzuki factory team, which has an exception to the rookie rule. Those hopes, however, no seem to be in vain as early indications point to Bautista instead opting to ride for the Rizla Suzuki team.
The rejection doesn’t surprise too many people in the paddock though. Bautista signed a pre-commitment deal with Suzuki last summer, and reportedly did not want to pay the fines associated with breaking that contract. Then there is still the issues surrounding the GP9, and Bautista’s wish to be on a factory supported team. While Aspar can offer more money, and alleviate one problem, there is little he can do about the GP9, and not being a factory team.
Bautista has stated in the past that he was apprehensive about riding the Ducati Desmosedici GP9, which has proven to be troublesome for so many riders. And while Aspar will have tremendous factory support for his “satellite” team, we have seen younger rider’s egos getting in the way of the decision making process. For Bautista, being able to say he is on a factory team, while rival Simoncelli is on a satellite squard, might be icing on the cake for a deal with Rizla Suzuki.
With Bautista moving to Rizla, this creates a new whirlpool of speculation as to whom will be going where at Rizla. Currently, Capirossi is rumored to be staying on with Rizla through 2010 with a one-year contract extension. This leaves Vermeulen S.O.L. on a ride, and we’ve heard no indications as to where he might land in this mess. Had things been the other way around, we very well could be seeing Capirossi’s last season in MotoGP, but that looks to be occurring next year.
With no official word on the deal yet, we still have to file all this one under speculation. However, Aspar is expected to make an announcement either today or tomorrow, which will definitively answer who is riding where for 2010. Stay tuned loyal reader.