The long and desperate history of Jorge Aspar Martinez and his attempts to enter MotoGP reached at least a temporary conclusion in Malaysia. The deal the Spaniard had with Kawasaki to run a third factory bike finally foundered on Kawasaki's insistence on Shinya Nakano as the rider, while Aspar's Spanish sponsors wanted a Spaniard. Martinez told Kawasaki that he would run Nakano if Kawasaki shared the costs, but the Akashi factory demanded that Aspar pay the full costs of the project.
But this had been the last page in an extended history: Aspar had turned to Kawasaki after his rider Alvaro Bautista refused to ride a Ducati, and the team had only examined Ducati as an option after a potential deal with Suzuki fell through. In the end, and with the Kawasaki in the shape it is in in 2008, the deal falling through may well be a good thing for the project.
For the Spanish sports daily Marca is reporting that Aspar is back talking to his first choice of motorcycle supplier. According to Marca, Aspar's Spanish sponsors have acquiesced to provide sponsorship for the factory Suzuki MotoGP team - currently Rizla Suzuki - on the condition that Aspar gets a third factory bike to run in MotoGP from 2010. That new team would then see Alvaro Bautista step up from 250s to move into the premier class, hopefully after wresting the world title from Marco Simoncelli.
There is some substance to this deal, as since Rizla withdrew sponsorship from the team run by Crescent Racing in British Superbikes, speculation has been rife that the manufacturer of cigarette rolling papers might withdraw - or reduce its involvement - from the MotoGP team as well. If Martinez can bring money to the factory Suzuki team, that would give him a very strong claim to a bike for 2010.
Though it really is far too early to even be thinking about the 2010 MotoGP silly season, it seems that reality is starting to intervene. The 2010 roundabout starts here ...