The Spanish banking crisis has forced Aspar to remove the Bankia sponsorship from their Kalex KTM Moto3 machines, ridden by Hector Faubel and Alberto Moncayo, as well as the pit box and hospitality units. Aspar came to an agreement with Bankia over the removal of their logos after a shareholder meeting in Madrid of the Spanish savings bank forced the bank to re-examine its sponsorship arrangements. Aspar's Moto2 sponsor, Spanish insurance giant Mapfre, will step in to fill the space vacated by Bankia.
The removal of the logos will not affect Aspar's finances for this year, as the budget had already been made available at the start of the year, as MotoMatters.com reported earlier this year. However, Aspar and Bankia had an option to extend the contract for 2013; that option is no longer available, terminated as a result of Bankia's financial difficulties.
For next season, Aspar will have to look elsewhere for sponsorship, and after the bursting of the construction bubble, the Spanish economy is falling back on its former mainstay of tourism. This is good news for non-Spanish riders, as Spanish tourist destinations and companies offering holiday homes are looking to riders from around Europe - especially in key tourist markets such as the UK and Germany - to help sell tourism in those markets.
Below is the press release from Aspar about the new sponsorship situation:
ASPAR TEAM REDEFINES SPONSORSHIP ARRANGEMENTS
The Aspar Team has agreed a deal which will see their sponsorship package rearranged for this season.
The new agreement will see all BANKIA logos removed from the team's motorcycles, pit garage, hospitality units and other Aspar Team elements in the Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP World Championships after the Spanish Government recently bailed out the banking and financial services group.
The vacated space on the team materials will now be occupied by MAPFRE, co-sponsor of the Aspar Team, who will significantly increase their presence on the bikes and rider equipment, as well as the rest of the materials belonging to the team run by Jorge Martínez 'Aspar'.
BANKIA continues to support the "Cuna de Campeones", the young rider development project giving children between the ages of six and fourteen the opportunity to develop their talent within the world of motorcycle racing.