Aspar’s squad is one of several leading teams now left without a motorcycle after Aprilia suddenly reversed its decision to build a chassis for the new Moto2 World Championship, which replaces 250cc from next season.
A brief statement from Piaggio, owners of Aprilia, was released on Tuesday, declaring that Aprilia would now not compete in the new championship – or supply machinery to private teams – because the enforced use of a Honda-built engine meant Moto2 “would serve no purpose and be detrimental to Aprilia’s image as a leading Italian and European motorcycle manufacturer.”
But given the timing, that explanation wasn’t very convincing. It had been announced as long ago as May 5 that all Moto2 bikes would be powered by a new 600cc Honda-built engine.
Meanwhile, Aspar had expected his riders Julian Simon and Mike di Meglio to make their debut on the Aprilia Moto2 machine during testing in early December.
“Honestly, the news of Aprilia’s withdraw was a big surprise,” confirmed the 125, Moto2 and now MotoGP team owner. “We believed the project was developing well and wanted to work with Aprilia because of their great experience in world championship racing.
“Next Tuesday, Gino [Borsoi, sporting director] and I will travel to Italy to meet with the management of Aprilia and see if we can find a solution. If there isn’t one, we’ll look at other options.
“The most important thing is to have a reliable project and give both Julian and Mike championship-winning material. We also cannot let down our sponsors.”