Aspar MotoGP team swaps Honda for Ducati, keeps Laverty for 2016

The Aspar team has announced it will switch from Honda to Ducati for the 2016 MotoGP season, retaining Eugene Laverty alongside Yonny Hernandez

Aspar MotoGP team swaps Honda for Ducati, keeps Laverty for 2016

Jorge Martinez's squad was originally a Ducati customer when it graduated from its ultra-successful programmes in the feeder series to the premier class in 2010.

It has fielded Open class Hondas for MotoGP rookie Laverty and 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden this season.

Hayden has revealed he will leave MotoGP for World Superbikes next season, while current Pramac Ducati rider Yonny Hernandez had already secured one of the Aspar seats.

Saturday's announcement confirms Laverty will stay on for a second season in MotoGP as the Colombian's team-mate.

Martinez said the progress Ducati had made with its factory bikes since its recent restructuring was a factor in the change.

"Our first two years in MotoGP, 2010 and 2011, were quite positive alongside Ducati," he said.

"That was before the arrival of the CRT bikes, where we enjoyed lots of success.

"Through our time so far in MotoGP we have worked with Ducati, Aprilia and Honda. Now we return to Ducati, and without a doubt I am expecting we will have competitive bikes and great riders capable of scoring the kind of results we deserve, which is inside the top 10.

"Ducati have made big changes in recent times, in particular in their racing department in the hands of Gigi Dall'Igna.

"He's someone we have had an excellent relationship with for 20 years now.

"I have complete faith in his abilities, and that is definitely one of the reasons we have decided to work with Ducati once more in the future."

The Aspar deal gives Ducati a third customer team alongside Pramac and Avintia, giving it an eight-bike presence on the grid.

CONFIRMED 2016 MOTOGP LINE-UP SO FAR

Yamaha: Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo
Honda: Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa
Ducati: Andrea Iannone, Andrea Dovizioso
Suzuki: Aleix Espargaro, Maverick Vinales
Gresini Aprilia: Alvaro Bautista, Stefan Bradl
Tech 3 Yamaha: Bradley Smith, Pol Espargaro
LCR Honda: Cal Crutchlow
Marc VDS Honda: Tito Rabat, Jack Miller
Aspar Ducati: Yonny Hernandez,Eugene Laverty
Pramac Ducati: Danilo Petrucci, Scott Redding
Avintia Ducati: Loris Baz, Hector Barbera
Plans still tba: Forward, Ioda, AB

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