Pons team came close to 2007 return
Sito Pons was close to getting his team back on the MotoGP grid for 2007 with Sete Gibernau on board, autosport.com can reveal.
The Spaniard's team missed the 2006 season after not being able to raise sufficient financial backing but behind-the-scenes moves were made to get back for 2007 with a Yamaha bike.
The former 250cc world champion, who attended all of the 2006 MotoGP races as an expert reporter for Spanish television, got as far as securing full funding, a Yamaha M1 and rider Sete Gibernau for a return to top level competition.
But sources close to his team have revealed to autosport.com that the plans collapsed after Yamaha 'blocked' Gibernau as his chosen rider.
Gibernau, who is at home in Spain recovering from breaking his collarbone twice in 2006 after crashing from his Ducati at Barcelona and Estoril, has confirmed that talks were at an advanced stage for him to continue to MotoGP.
"It was close but I'm happy to be away from racing, enjoying life at the moment," said Gibernau, who has said he will now ensure he is back to full fitness before considering any future plans. "I want to make sure it's right for the rest of my life."
Pons continues to run a Spanish National Championship 125cc and Formula Extreme team out of his Barcelona workshops, with faithful engineer Sante Mulero overseeing matters.
He also has a hand in the World Series by Renault, in 2004 guiding Heikki Kovalainen to victory in the then Nissan-named series.