The Aspar racing team announced the signing of Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaró to compete in the 2012 MotoGP World Championship on a CRT racebike powered by Aprilia engines.
De Puniet (pictured above with his Playboy model girlfriend Lauren Vickers) rode a mystery race bike for Aspar this week at a MotoGP test, believed to be a modified version of Aprilia‘s WSBK-spec RSV4 with MotoGP-issue Bridgestone tires and carbon brakes. CRT rules require the use of a prototype chassis, so the Aspar machine cannot use the RSV4′s chassis. The RSV4 engine however is eligible for the new MotoGP regulations.
Both de Puniet and Espargaró both have experience in the MotoGP class, as well as ties to Aspar. De Puniet raced for Team Pramac in 2011, riding a Ducati Desmosedic. Prior to this season, de Puniet spent three seasons with the LCR Honda team and from 2006-2007 rode for Kawasaki. Before moving up to the MotoGP class, de Puniet rode for Aspar in the 250cc class on an Aprilia machine.
Like de Puniet, Espargaró also rode for Pramac in the MotoGP class, riding a Ducati in 2010. The year prior, Espargaró rode for Aspar for a couple of rounds in the 2009 season.
[Source: Team Aspar (Facebook)]