With the final IRTA test just a couple of days away, teams are seizing the opportunity to stage their team launches for the 2012 season. On Tuesday night it was the turn of the Power Electronics Aspar team to present their bike and riders to the press, not at Jerez, where a large portion of the world's motorcycling press is already assembled, but in Valencia, home to Aspar owner Jorge Martinez and the heart of his power base.
Much is expected of the Aspar team. Randy de Puniet has been consistently fast on the Aprilia ART, though without the factory prototypes at the separate CRT tests, it is hard to judge just exactly how competitive the bikes will be. Going by the times set so far, De Puniet should be capable of troubling the satellite bikes, at least the Ducatis of Karel Abraham and Hector Barbera, as well as the Honda of Stefan Bradl. Aleix Espargaro makes a return to MotoGP after a reasonable year in Moto2, but having already had experience on a MotoGP with Pramac Ducati in 2010 should help get the Spaniard up to speed.
The specifications of the Aprilia RSV4-based ART machine make for interesting reading. The weight of the bike is listed at 165kg, giving credence to the statement by Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta that the minimum weights were increased from 153kg to 157kg to help the Claiming Rule Teams, rather than one of the factories, as some conspiracy theorists have claimed.
POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR TEAM PRESENTED IN VALENCIA
Aleix Espargaró, Randy De Puniet and the definitive liveries of the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team presented in Tuesday event
At 8pm local time in Spain, the Hotel Balneario de las Arenas played host to the official presentation of the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team. The Valencian venue was the setting for the public unveiling of the collaboration between the solar power, frequency inverters and solar devices company and the Aspar Team.
Canal 9 journalist, Lluís Motes, presented the event, inviting representatives from both sides to speak on stage. Mr. Abelardo Salvo, POWER ELECTRONICS President, and Mr. Jorge Martínez 'Aspar', CEO of the Aspar Team showed off the new POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team bikes which will compete in the 2012 MotoGP season -starting with the April 8th Qatar GP. Mr. Abelardo Salvo and Vice President of Operations Amadeo Salvo showed off a video of the exciting MotoGP campaign ahead, mixed in with footage of the new POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team. Mr. Jorge Martínez 'Aspar' was next up, mailing the fantastic union between the two Valencian companies.
The two new POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team, Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet also had their moment at the presentation, as did Mr. Cristóbal Grau, Sports Delegate, Marina Real Juan Carlos I, Mr. Alfonso Rus, President of the Valencia Council and Ms. Lola Johnson, Tourism, Culture and Sports Delegate.
The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team and the representatives of the Valencia region shared a coast at the end of the presentation.
Jorge Martínez 'Aspar': "For myself and for the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team the CRT project is an exciting challenge. We had one rider in the premier class before and now we have two, so I am delighted with this. The concept and regulations of the premier class have changed a lot and there is a lot of future in MotoGP. Our tests have been excellent and we are highly motivated. I want to thank POWER ELECTRONICS for the confidence that they have placed in this project. I also want to thank the other new sponsors: Vibo, Bel Ray and Crecs. It makes me happy that the team continues to grow in motorcycle racing. I am sure that the union of POWER ELECTRONICS and the Aspar Team, with their association with new technology, is going to bring many benefits to both parties. I hope to reward this confidence placed in us with positive results and performances."
Amadeo Salvo: "The union of two Valencia companies has made it possible for the MotoGP POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team to compete in the World Championship this Season. We are proud to be representing the Valencia region in MotoGP and we want to encourage local businesses to support our sport. I want to wish Jorge Martínez 'Aspar' and his riders, Randy De Puniet and Aleix Espargaró, the best of luck for this year and beyond. I also want to thank the smaller sponsors of the Aspar Team and POWER ELECTRONICS for making this new phase possible. We couldn't do this without them."
Aleix Espargaró: "I wanted to attend the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team presentation very much. The fact that we can afford to come along means that everything is in order and we are almost at the start of the season. The preseason seemed to fly by for me, so now I just want to get the final test over and done with and get to Qatar. I am really excited to be part of this new CRT project. I hope that both my teammate and I have a good season and that we fight to be the best CRT riders. It is great that the Aspar Team has a Valencian main sponsor."
Randy De Puniet: "I was really excited about the presentation of the new POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team. We had the opportunity to see the new designs for the bike and leathers a while ago at Aragón and they are beautiful. What's more, the presentation is in Valencia, the Aspar Team and POWER ELECTRONICS are from Valencia and I feel at home here. The start of the season is fast approaching and I consider that we are ready to go. We only have the weekend test at Jerez to go, at which we will get a better idea of what awaits us at the opening race."
Aprilia, four-cylinder V (65 degrees), four-stroke, liquid cooling, double camshaft distribution, four valves per cylinder.
+ 220 HP
+ 330 KM/H
6 speed with alternative ratios available. Oil clutch with anti-stutter tank.
Electronic injection via Ride-by-Wire.
Aprilia Racing ECU.
Cadena - Regina
Öhlins 42mm inverted forks and Öhlins rear shock, with preload control, hydraulic brake and extension.
Brembo, double 320mm carbon front discs, with four piston calipers. Individual rear disc with two piston calipers.