Yamaha delighted Jorge Lorenzo’s crew won't be split up

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Yamaha management have spoken of their delight that Jorge Lorenzo will continue with long-serving crew chief Ramon Forcada until at least the end of 2016.

Having signed a new two-year contract to remain on a factory YZR-M1 for the next two years, rumours emerged that Lorenzo was giving serious consideration to splitting from Forcada, who has been his chief engineer since he moved to MotoGP back in 2008.

Doubt about Forcada’s future also emerged with speculation that he had an offer to switch to Suzuki to work with reigning Moto3 world champion Maverick Vinales.

A change of crew chief has almost been unheard of in MotoGP, but Valentino Rossi sent shockwaves through the paddock almost a year ago when he ruthlessly dispensed of the services of long-serving technical guru Jerry Burgess.

Lorenzo won’t be wielding the axe too though after Yamaha confirmed in Misano though last weekend that all of its crew would remain unchanged in 2015.

Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis told MCN: “The crew chief is the most important element for the rider and their connection with the team and the bike.

"Valentino changed last year after a very long time and it gave him the boost that he was looking for and for some other riders who have seen that it has made them question whether they should stay the same or is time for change?

"This is a fashion sometimes but I think it was important when Jorge was signing a new contract with us that he took his time and he has made a decision to continue with Ramon and we are really happy about.”

Yamaha team boss Massimo Meregalli confirmed to MCN that Lorenzo had pondered a crew chief change, but a big team summit immediately after the British GP at Silverstone had decided on the structure for next season.

Meregalli said: “Ramon staying is the best scenario. Jorge said that he was thinking about a change but when we had a meeting in Silverstone we asked him to trust the team and this is what happened. 

"We didn't need to convince Jorge, he was thinking the same as Yamaha. Ramon always told me that Yamaha is a good family feeling for him and he never told me that he has another option. He never put us under any pressure."

Had Lorenzo opted to part company with Forcada, Yamaha had lined up Casey Stoner’s former crew chief Cristian Gabbarini to take his role.

The respected Italian though will lead rising Moto3 star Jack Miller’s debut season in MotoGP in the LCR Honda squad.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt