Jorge Lorenzo happy to keep crew chief

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Jorge Lorenzo is to keep faith with long-serving crew chief Ramon Forcada.

Speculation has been rife that Lorenzo was contemplating replacing Forcada for 2015 after his failure to seriously threaten for the MotoGP world championship this season.

Only five races of the 18-round schedule remain and Lorenzo is still to win in 2014 and he currently trails Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi by 37-points and series leader Marc Marquez by a massive 112-points.

But Lorenzo confirmed during last weekend’s Misano MotoGP round that he will keep Forcada and all of his crew through his next Yamaha contract, which expires at the end of 2016.

Forcada has worked with Lorenzo ever since he moved to Yamaha as reigning 250GP world champion back in 2008, but he was understood to have been approached by Suzuki about moving to a role as crew chief to Maverick Vinales.

With uncertainty about his relationship with Forcada, Yamaha is known to have spoken to Casey Stoner’s former Ducati and Repsol Honda crew chief Cristian Gabbarini about a deal.

Juan Martinez, who has previously worked with Sete Gibernau at Honda and Nicky Hayden at Ducati, was also a candidate if Lorenzo and Forcada had split.

Speaking exclusively to MCN, Lorenzo said: “As I said in Silverstone, I was happy with Ramon and the rest of the crew and I hoped we would continue.

"Obviously sometimes it is difficult to work with your team and in every house there can be problems sometimes, especially when the results are not the best and especially with two strong characters like myself and Ramon.

"Ramon as a technician is excellent and for the moment I am happy with him and the rest of my team.”

There has also been constant gossip that Dani Pedrosa is looking to axe long-serving crew chief Mike Leitner.

Leitner appears to have escaped the chop, but during last weekend's Misano round, MCN understands at least two of Pedrosa's crew were told their contracts would not be renewed in 2015.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt