Marc VDS in Yamaha talks for 2015

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 30 April 2014 11:12

Scott Redding’s former Moto2 squad has kicked off talks with Yamaha about a switch to MotoGP in 2015.

The Marc VDS squad is one of the highest profile teams operating outside of the premier class, with a three-rider effort in Moto2 and Moto3.

But after lengthy talks about a MotoGP move ended last season, the Belgium-based squad has again launched ambitious plans to expand into MotoGP again.

MCN has learned that team boss Michael Bartholemy met senior Yamaha MotoGP manager Kouichi Tsuji in Argentina last weekend about leasing a YZR-M1 engine package for the Open category next season.

Yamaha currently supplies two Open spec YZR-M1 bikes for the Forward Racing squad, but it is looking at expansion plans.

Yamaha has also held preliminary talks with the Pons HP 40 squad run by ex-250GP world champion Sito Pons, which currently runs reigning Moto3 world champion Maverick Vinales.

Bartholemy told MCN: “We spoke a lot with Yamaha last year and we need to see what is available for 2015. Since the Open class was born it is clear the Yamaha bike is making the best results. But I think it is normal to speak to Honda and see what they are planning with the production bike. The question with Yamaha is are there going to be two or three packages? Will they do a factory bike, a factory bike in the Open class like now with Forward or an Open bike where they only supply the engines?”

Yamaha is adamant any Open entry in 2015 will have to use its own frame, and Bartholemy confirmed he would definitely use a Kalex chassis, with his current Moto2 and Moto3 chassis supplier a long-term technical partner of Marc VDS.

The major stumbling block for Marc VDS and Pons is money and the availability of a grid slot.

Any new entry in 2015 gets zero financial assistance from Dorna and Bartholemy added: “The main question again will be whether we can get a starting place and that was the same last year, “said Bartholemy, with Dorna reluctant to increase the field above 24 bikes.