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Jorge Martinez ‘Aspar’ inducted as FIM Legend

Jorge Martinez ‘Aspar’ inducted as FIM Legend

MotoGP™ rider turned team owner Jorge Martinez ‘Aspar’ is the latest name to be inducted as an FIM Legend. The Spaniard was officially handed the honour during Sunday night’s 2014 FIM Gala ceremony in Jerez, Spain.

‘Aspar’ raced in the World Championship between 1982 and 1997, but his greatest successes came in the late 1980s as he wrapped up no less than four world titles. The Spaniard was three times an 80cc class World Champion back-to-back from 1986 to 1988, as well as doing the double in the third year when he also clinched the 125cc crown. During his career, Martinez clinched a total of 37 Grand Prix victories, 61 podium finishes, 42 pole positions and 11 race fastest laps. He now heads up the Valencia-based Drive M7 Aspar team which fields two premier class entries for 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden and 2015 MotoGP™ newcomer Eugene Laverty.

Having collected his award in Jerez on Sunday, ‘Aspar’ shared his feelings.

How do you see the state of Spanish motorcycle racing?
Amazing. Great things are being achieved. I see our riders dominating in all categories in many disciplines and I am sure that this trend will continue to increase because many riders are coming through. This is possible thanks to the excellent development system we currently have in Spain. There is a very promising future for racing in our country.

Are you proud of the current state of Spanish motorcycling?
Of course. Currently, Spain is a worldwide reference in all aspects of motorsport. Firstly thanks to Dorna, the company that holds the rights to MotoGP. Spain is the country which host the most Grands Prix - four - and has many other circuits capable of hosting top-level events. Furthermore, the CEV series will next year become a Junior World Championship and has been an undisputable stepping stone to the World Championship. Then we have Spanish teams, such as the Aspar Team, that have made a difference for many years. Not to mention the two latest seasons, in which all of the Grand Prix titles have been won by Spanish riders. I feel very proud and pleased with what we have achieved in the last 20 years.

Do you feel responsible, in a way, for the success of Spanish motorcycle racing?
I consider it very important to bring all the experience I’ve gained over many years to the table, in order to build a future. At the time I tried to do my bit as a rider, then I set up a riding school in Valencia and then became head of the Aspar Team. I always try to make all my experience available to the riders with whom I work, so that they can develop in the best possible way.

What does it mean to Jorge Martinez 'Aspar' to be recognised as an FIM Legend?
It mainly means that I'm still doing things well. I feel very proud to have been able to devote my life to motorcycle racing and to have left my mark on the sport, firstly with four world titles as a rider and later with four titles as team manager. Is a huge satisfaction to be made a Legend of motorcycle racing by the FIM. Besides the prizes, the passion to continue succeeding and doing things right is still intact. Furthermore, it is always cause for joy to see your efforts recognised.

MotoGP, 2014

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