The wraps were taken off the Drive M7 Aspar Hondas today in a team kick-off prior to the start of the second MotoGP test session in Malaysia, the team showing off the silver and fluorescent green colors that the team’s Honda RCV-1000Rs and riders Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama will wear.

The team announced that it has a three-year agreement with Drive M7 – a Malaysian energy drink that is part of the Mutiara Motors Group.

“It is a new season and a new challenge for me, but I am healthy and very excited,” Hayden said at the press conference. “I have been very impressed with Mr. Aspar [team owner Jorge Martinez] and his professionalism - it’s clear he really wants results and is behind all his guys. I think it’s great we have a new sponsor and one of such a high level as Drive M7. Not only is it good for us, I think it’s good for all of MotoGP to see new sponsors coming from different parts of the world and this can be great for the future.

“The challenge of competing as an open bike and the new rules will be interesting to see how it all plays out and if it really will become the future of MotoGP. The first test we were not as competitive as we need to be, but I trust HRC will help us very soon and find us more power. I must get everything out of this new test to learn the bike and the new team and be ready to for the opener in Qatar. I have great fans and great sponsors and hope I can make them proud this year.”

Martínez is also excited at the prospects of the new season.

“We are excited to be here at the Drive M7 Aspar Team presentation in Malaysia,” the Spaniard said. “This event is the confirmation of another important phase in the history of our team. We are broadening our horizons, continuing our growth and establishing ourselves firmly on the international plane. It is very important for us to have reached an agreement with Drive M7, a huge company that forms part of the Mutiara Motors Group and that has a global vision. In terms of our sporting project we have switched manufacturers from Aprilia to Honda and we have signed two World Champions in the shape of Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama to represent us in MotoGP. We are all very excited about this new project and we face a big challenge over the next three years.”

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Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America’s Daily Motorcycle News Source.

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