The first page of the team's history was written back in 1992. Mere words are barely enough to describe the impact of Jorge Martínez, who established his legend in the late eighties, picking up four world titles and establishing himself as one of the most decorated stars of international motorcycle racing. Known for his tenacity, the man they called 'Aspar' knew that his days as a rider were numbered and in 1992 he made the move to launch his own 'Aspar Team', in order to continue his quest for glory and enjoy an epilogue to his own racing career in the guise of both rider and team manager. Several podiums and one final victory in Argentina in 1994 put the shine on an incredible riding career.
In 1997 he finally hung up his leathers but continued his journey from circuit to circuit, carrying his team forward to new challenges. Whilst as a rider his only concern had been to win races, now his responsibilities had multiplied yet success soon returned to the team at the end of the nineties in the shape of national and European titles. It was at the turn of the millennium, however, when the Aspar Team really took off, with World Champions, runners-up, race winners and triple podiums all coming in quick succession. The discipline and passion that distinguished 'Aspar' as a rider were now the hallmarks of a team that had become a reference within the World Championship. The team's first major success came in 2002, when Fonsi Nieto finished runner-up in the 250cc World Championship. The 2004 season was another to remember in the intermediate category, with Sebastián Porto also finishing second in the championship.
Those two achievements were a sign of things to come and the team's first world title came just two years later as Álvaro Bautista was crowned as 125cc World Champion in 2006. That title came on the back of an historic season that saw several records broken, including a first ever podium filled by just one team, at the Istanbul Park circuit in Turkey. Victories, podiums and pole positions flowed freely throughout the season and, in Australia, Bautista completed a triumphant march to the Aspar Team's maiden championship. The Spaniard eventually amassed 338 points that season, a category record, as the team placed four riders in the top five positions in the championship.
That truly dominant season looked impossible to repeat but in 2007 it became clear after just a handful of races that the title would be staying in the Aspar Team trophy cabinet. Team-mates Héctor Faubel and Gábor Talmácsi became embroiled in a furious championship battle that went all the way to the final round at Valencia, where the Hungarian emerged victorious and left the Spaniard to settle for second overall. The team pressed on in 2008 and again finished runners-up in the 250cc class, thanks to Álvaro Bautista, and in 2009 they returned to dominate 125cc, this time in the shape of Julián Simón and Bradley Smith. The Spaniard and the Brit battled so fiercely for the championship that no other rider could get close, with Simón proving to have the consistency required to take another special title for the team at Phillip Island. Whilst Simón was crowned 125cc World Champion, Smith took the runner-up spot with Sergio Gadea finishing just behind his team-mates after contributing to eight double podiums and another historic triple at Assen.
The 2010 season was one of change as the team signed local rider Nico Terol for 125cc, a new era of Moto2 began in place of 250cc and the team hit the international headlines as they made the step into MotoGP. Terol and Simón finished runners-up in 125cc and Moto2 respectively, Terol taking Marc Márquez all the way to the final round for the title and Simón showing an impressive adaptation to the four-stroke era. Meanwhile, Héctor Barberá was the man charged with leading the team's challenge in the premier class of international circuit racing.
If there was one thing Jorge Martínez was keen on, alongside the success of his team, it was the development of new talent, which is why he set about establishing a riders' school at his home track, the Circuit de la Comunidad Valenciana. It soon became a breeding ground that produced a host of stars, including the last ever 125cc World Champion Nico Terol, who claimed the historic title with the Aspar Team in 2011. That was a special year for a team and rider both from Valencia, as they dominated the season from start to finish and celebrated the title on home turf in the final round. It was also a fitting tribute to the greatest rider ever to hail from Valencia, indeed one of the greatest riders of his time, that the last ever 125cc World Champion was a fellow Valencian and a product of his own, precious Aspar Team.
After such great success in the smaller classes the next stop had to be MotoGP and the only way the team knew how to do it was in winning style. In 2012 they contested the new CRT category within the premier-class and duly dominated with Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet. The 2013 season provided another championship for Espargaró and vindicated the decision of a team built to win. Meanwhile Nico Terol, Jordi Torres and Jonas Folger continued to rack up the victories in Moto2 and the new Moto3 class but it became clear that a new approach was required in order to continue the success of the team into the future. In 2014 the Aspar Team returned to its roots as it forged a new alliance in MotoGP with Honda, the factory that this adventure started with back in 1992, now competing at the very highest level with two World Champions on board in the shape of Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama.
The team also took on a new project in the smallest category, helping Mahindra take their ambitious challenge to the established constructors in the Moto3 class in the colossal shape of Honda and KTM. After trying and struggling on their own in their first season, the Indian factory called on the technical knowledge and experience of the Aspar Team to help them make an impact. And what an impact they made, with a first podium coming in their first season together at the hands of Pecco Bagnaia. The best, however, was still to come and in 2016 the team returned to the battle for honours in the minor category with two victories and six podiums to celebrate.
In an effort to once again be crowned as the best Independent team in MotoGP, Jorge Martínez “Aspar” led his outfit back to Ducati with a clear goal of recovering positions in the championship with Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham. In Moto3, with Andrea Migno and Albert Arenas on new KTM machinery the team added two more victories to the many pieces of silverware collected by the team over the past 25 years of competition. Now, 2019 is the start of another new challenge for the Angel Nieto Team always ready to create new champions. The team has Albert Arenas and Raúl Fernández in Moto3, and Jake Dixon and Xavi Cardelús in Moto2: riders ready to satisfy their hunger for glory, for victories and for titles alongside the might of the team nurtured by Jorge Martínez ‘Aspar’.