Aspar team extends Ducati MotoGP deal

Aspar team extends Ducati MotoGP deal
By AutoSport

21/05/2017 at 11:07Updated 21/05/2017 at 11:09

The Aspar satellite MotoGP team has announced it will continue to run Ducati machinery next season.

The Spanish squad became a Ducati customer last year, after running Open-class Hondas, and has a year-old GP16 for Alvaro Bautista and an older GP15 for Karel Abraham this season.

Aspar's new agreement includes an option to run two GP17s - currently used by works Ducati riders Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso, as well as Pramac's Danilo Petrucci - or to continue the existing arrangement of running two different spec bikes.

A decision on this will be taken later in the year, with its 2018 rider line-up understood to be one of the factors.

Bautista is 14th in the standings ahead of the French Grand Prix and Abraham is 18th, with both riders taking their best race results of fourth and 10th in Argentina.

"It is excellent news that we will continue for another season with Ducati, as much for the professional relationship we have with [technical chief] Luigi Dall'Igna and all his staff as for the material they provide," team boss Jorge Martinez said.

"We believe that we can still grow more but first of all I hope to be able to give Ducati and our sponsors plenty to celebrate this season, because we have two riders who are proving to be very competitive."

Fellow Ducati satellite squad Avintia penned its 2018 supply deal last month, while Pramac is also expected to continue with the Italian manufacturer.

"The Aspar Team worked very well with Ducati in 2016 and also this year, with important results already for both riders," Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti added.

"For that reason we are very happy to continue collaborating with Jorge Martinez next season."