Yamaha: No chassis support for Forward in 2015

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 16 April 2014 11:52

Yamaha will insist on Aleix Espargaro’s Forward Racing squad building its own chassis for the 2015 MotoGP world championship.

The Italian-based squad has been allowed to start 2014 with a YZR-M1 chassis and swingarm package, while it developed its own frame to race in the future.

Yamaha’s foray into the new Open category was only ever meant to include a leasing deal for its YZR-M1 engine, at a cost of around £650,000 per season.

And Yamaha has no intention of deviating from that strategy, according to MotoGP boss Lin Jarvis.

Forward Racing had initially agreed a deal with British frame specialists FTR to develop its own chassis and swingarm project.

But that collaboration has hit troubled waters, with no clear indication that an independently built chassis will now be forthcoming from FTR.

Espargaro has impressed on the Forward Yamaha, which is essentially a 2013-spec YZR-M1 engine and chassis package permitted to run extra fuel and softer tyres in the new Open category.

He finished the season’s opening race in fourth before qualifying fourth at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas last weekend.

Jarvis is adamant though the Forward deal beyond 2014 will be exclusively for the lease of engines and he told MCN: “We have a clear understanding that the supply of a frame and swingarm for this year was to assist them to get up to speed because the project was so new.

Next year they have to have their own frame and swingarm and we have been very clear about that. If they are not working with FTR they will have to work with another chassis manufacturer.”