With the 2011 MotoGP rider lineup very near to being settled, attention is turning to Moto2 and the 125cc class. And two of the hottest seats in the junior classes are held by the Aspar team, the Spanish powerhouse that has produced multiple champions over the years. Today at Phillip Island, the Aspar team announced part of their future plans for next season, re-signing current 125cc rider Nico Terol and current Moto2 rider Julian Simon to new contracts with the team.
Both men are to remain in their current classes for another season, with Simon signed up for another year in Moto2, while Terol has been offered a two-year deal, spending 2011 in the 125cc class. Beyond 2011, Terol could either move up to Moto2, or could stay on to try to win the brand new Moto3 class, the 250cc four-stroke single class that is to replace the two-stroke 125s from 2012. That decision will depend in part on whether Terol manages to win the 125cc title next year. Terol is still very much in contention for the 2010 125cc title as well, trailing championship leader Marc Marquez by just 3 points with another 3 races left to go.
The text of the Aspar press release appears below:
NICO TEROL AND JULIÁN SIMÓN EXTEND DEALS WITH ASPAR TEAM
Both riders to remain in 125cc and Moto2 categories respectively
Aspar Team riders Nico Terol and Julián Simón will remain with the Spanish team for 2011. Nico has signed a two year deal that will see him return to contest the 125cc World Championship again next year. Julián, meanwhile, has agreed a one-year extension to his Moto2 deal. Both agreements were made in Japan two weeks ago and signed last weekend in Malaysia. It means the Aspar Team will once again go into the season with the guarantee of one of the best riders in each class.
For Simón it was an easy choice to remain with the team that signed him during a difficult stage in his career and helped him become 125cc World Champion in 2009, before providing him with the means to become one of the leading contenders in the inaugural season of Moto2 in 2010. The Spaniard is currently in a strong position to finish as the series runner-up and is targeting a full blown assault on the title next season.
Terol signed for the team at the start of this season after scoring some impressive results in the lower class last year. In 2010 he has taken the step up and added consistency to his game to become a championship challenger with three races remaining. Whatever the outcome he will be back in the 125cc class next year ready to either defend the crown or try again.
Jorge Martínez 'Aspar': "We are delighted to have Nico extend his deal with us - he is having an incredible season, fighting to become World Champion. We want him to continue in the same way and with the material he needs. He is in our plans for 2011 but also for 2012. As far as Julián Simón is concerned, he was an absolute priority for the Mapfre Aspar Team. It is a project we began last year and we hope it lasts for many more to come. I think we have had a good debut season in Moto2, especially in this final part - we just have to keep improving from a technical point of view. Re-signing him was very important, for the sponsors, for the team and for him. The confidence we all have in each other means that next year we can be fighting to become World Champions together once again."
Julián Simón: "I am very happy to stay with the Aspar Team because it is one of the strongest and most professional structures in MotoGP. Jorge is a person with very clear objectives and he always puts the best material at our disposal so that we can be competitive. Next year we will have much more experience in Moto2 and I am sure we will be fighting for the championship from the start. I would love to experience the feeling of winning a title again, like we did in 2009. The Aspar Team is like a family to me, they always support me and listen to what I have to say, which is the foundation you need to go out and be successful. All I can do is repay their faith with maximum effort."
Nico Terol: "Re-signing with the Aspar Team is the best thing that could have happened to me. My feeling with the team has been fantastic ever since I signed for them. From a technical and human point of view it is unbeatable and they have offered me a top bike. Thanks to all of these things together I have had my best ever season this year. Alongside the Bancaja Aspar Team I have learned the little secrets that help you make the difference when necessary. It makes sense to stay here, where I feel at home, and continue to grow as a rider. Knowing that I will be back with the Bancaja Aspar Team next year takes all the weight off for the last few races. We are in the midst of an historic challenge, to try and win the 125cc title."