Colin Edwards could be racing a British-built chassis on his Forward Racing Yamaha from the Mugello round later this month.
But it won’t be the FTR frame the veteran Texan had expected to campaign from the beginning of 2014, with MCN understanding that Harris Performance has manufactured the new chassis.
MCN understands that former FTR technical guru Mark Taylor has designed the frame, but after splitting from the Heads of the Valleys Development Company that took over FTR in 2012, Taylor has turned to Hertford-based Harris to make the frame.
Edwards has been desperate to try an alternative frame to the YZR-M1 prototype chassis supplied by Yamaha that he has struggled with turning performance since winter testing.
He rode an FTR frame in 2012 and 2013 with a BMW S1000R and Kawasaki ZX-10R motor respectively and the Texan, who will retire at the end of 2014, told MCN: “We are supposed to get this new chassis in Mugello.
"I’m a bit p****d because my whole idea was based around what I’d been on for the last two years and we were going to build something up. That’s why I signed to stay on. It is frustrating because I thought I would be on something else now.”
Forward Racing boss Giovanni Cuzari said the imminent arrival of the new frame was the reason why he dismissed reports at the last race in Jerez that Edwards had been sacked as ludicrous.
Cuzari has already been told that his deal for 2015 with Yamaha will only include an engine lease agreement and he told MCN: “We need to be ready for next year because at the moment we don’t have a Yamaha chassis. This is why I wanted Colin to stay because he has a lot of experience and we need a rider like that to develop the bike.”
Harris has a long history in racing having built Yamahas from 1992 when the Japanese factory allowed non-factory teams to use its YZR500 motor.
Its last venture in MotoGP was with the WCM squad back in 2005.