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Kawasaki to run satellite bike in 2009

Kawasaki is set to provide a third factory bike in MotoGP next year which will be run by an all-Spanish team fronted by Jorge Martinez - the boss of 125cc squad Team Aspar.

Italian newspaper Motosprint is reporting that Spanish telecommunications company 1188 will be the main sponsor and that the rider is also likely to come from that country.

Out of contract Toni Elias, who finished second at Brno, and 250cc race-winner Alvaro Bautista have both been linked to the ride. Kawasaki's competition manager Michael Bartholemy told MotoGP's official website that Anthony West could be offered as part of the deal however.

It was announced earlier today that West will be replaced by Marco Melandri in the factory team in 2009 alongside John Hopkins, but Bartholemy added that Kawasaki had invested time and money into West's career and wanted to remain involved with the Australian.

"If we do run a third bike it would be up to the sponsors and the management who the rider is, but Anthony West could be part of the package that we offer," said Bartholemy "In Misano we should be able to clarify the situation with the third bike."

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