Since Aprilia made its rather precipitate and baffling decision to withdraw from the Moto2 championship, despite having a bike nearly ready to race, there has been much speculation about what the Aspar team would do. The Aspar team, named after its team manager, Jorge 'Aspar' Martinez, have been the leading team in MotoGP's support classes for many years now, and had very strong bonds with Aprilia, for whom they had won large stack of world championships.
At the Valencia Moto2 tests, Aspar's potential Moto2 riders, Mike di Meglio and reigning 125cc World Champion Julian Simon, had tested a range of other Moto2 bikes, but up until the final days of 2009, Martinez had been hoping to strike some kind of deal with Aprilia to continue development of the existing bikes under the banner of the Aspar team. Once Piaggio CEO Roberto Colaninno vetoed that plan, Aspar had no choice but to try to make a choice from the other possible candidates.
That process now appears to be approaching a conclusion. According to the Spanish sports daily AS.com, the Aspar team is close to announcing that they will be using the Italian-built RSV DR 600 to contest the inaugural Moto2 world championship in 2010. After evaluating the BQR Blusens, FTR, Suter, Kalex and RSV bikes, the team had narrowed down the choice between the Kalex and the RSV. "Of all the bikes we tested," Jorge Martinez told AS.com, "the Kalex and the RSV were the bikes we liked most."
The decisive factor, however, was the difference in support that Aspar expected from the German and Italian manufacturers. "The decision will depend on the technical conditions, and Kalex has their close association with the Pons team going against them," Martinez explained. "In contrast, RSV is just a manufacturer who can get fully involved with our team."
Aspar's impending decision to go with the RSV bike also adds some engineering diversity to the class. So far, nearly all of the Moto2 bikes presented have followed a single design pattern, an aluminium twin beam chassis. The RSV DR 600 M2 uses a trellis frame more reminiscent of another great Italian motorcycle manufacturer, Ducati. The advantage of such a design is that it allows better control of frame flexibility, making it easier to control chatter and provide some suspension at higher lean angles. The irony is that Ducati dropped the use of trellis frames in their MotoGP project at the start of the 2009 season, electing instead to use a moulded carbon fiber chassis. That process may as yet be a little too expensive for a class which is meant to be a cheap way to go racing at the highest level.