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Aspar Opens Arms Toward Suzuki
Thursday, February 14, 2013

A mutual admiration society between Aspar and Suzuki may be blooming as the Japanese manufacturer looks for a dance partner for its expected return to MotoGP in 2014.

Suzuki hired Aspar CRT rider Randy de Puniet as a test rider in 2013 for its new GSX-R prototype that is expected to be on the MotoGP grid in 2014. And it's possible that relationship could lead to Suzuki choosing Aspar as its partner team next season, as Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta recently said an additional grid spot would not be created next season for Suzuki.

Dorna still bristles that Suzuki withdrew its one-bike factory team after the 2011 season despite receiving a reprieve from the "rookie rule" in 2010 as a chit to stay in the series.

Aspar manager Gino Borsoi told British media no formal negotations with Suzuki for 2014 have taken place. But he didn't dump ice water on the idea of a partnership with Suzuki, either.

"Sure, it is an interesting project for us, but we have only talked with Suzuki about Randy being their test rider," Borsoi said. "During the season we will try to understand the possibility of making an official team for them. We have started to talk with Aprilia about the future, but we will see in the season which is the best project for us next season."

It's safe to assume Borsoi and team boss Aspar Martinez will use de Puniet's feedback about the new Suzuki bike to determine if it will be competitive or a nightmare. And at the very least, Aspar can compare its current ART Claiming Rules Team machine to Suzuki's new bike this year.

"It is interesting also for us because we will clearly understand the difference between our bike and Suzuki's, so it is a good situation," Borsoi said.

ENDS

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