Forward To Use New MotoGP Chassis At Mugello

Colin Edwards is to finally get the new chassis he has been waiting for. NGM Forward boss Giovanni Cuzari told that the team will have a new frame at Mugello, along with a new front fairing. A new seat unit and subframe would also be available. The new parts will only make their appearance on race day, Cuzari said.

More parts would appear after Barcelona, Cuzari said, which would bring their bike to approximately 75% of the machine planned for next year, which will be a complete rolling chassis with Yamaha engines. The parts would initially only be given to Colin Edwards, who has struggled to get to grips with the Yamaha chassis. He has been unable to get the bike to turn, leaving him well off the pace of teammate Aleix Espargaro. Espargaro has been very happy with the chassis supplied by Yamaha, when supply problems left Forward with a frame. In 2015, Yamaha have committed to only supplying engines, with chassis no longer being available. Colin Edwards has been pushing hard for a chassis similar to the FTR Kawasaki he campaigned in 2013, with which he was much more comfortable, though the ZX-10R engine was too tall and too underpowered to make a competitive package.

When asked at Jerez about a new chassis, Cuzari would not be drawn, saying only that the frame would be designed by 'consultants' hired by Forward Racing. Last week, MCN reported that Harris is to build the frame, which has been designed by former FTR chassis guru Mark Taylor. Taylor left the Buckingham-based firm at the start of the year, and has been working on various freelance projects since then. The rapport between FTR and Forward hit a low point earlier this year, after reports that the team had not paid the chassis builder. These reports were later officially denied by FTR in a press release, and at Jerez, Forward boss Cuzari told reporters that the situation was the other way around. Sources with knowledge of the situation confirm Cuzari's side of the story, that the problem was not one of non-payment by Forward, but of commitments not met by FTR.


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So what is the actual story with FTR ? That would be an interesting article.

Does Ducati still have FTR manufactured frames ?
And who made the factory Honda Moto3 frame? They look FTR but they are different.

FTR as a name have disappeared completely from the MotoGP grids this year ! A big change from last year.

I seem to remember that Aleix Espargaro needed to adjust his riding style quite a bit to the Yamaha chassis, saying that he could not brake as hard and also not brake into the corners like he could with his Aprilia ART. The real plus coming from the ART with its road-bike-based engine was the power of the YZR-M1, so to say that he was completely happy with the Yamaha chassis seems a bit off the mark. Happy enough to be very fast in qualifying, that's for sure though.

Also seeing Rossi's problems last year I would say it's not that strange that Colin is having difficulties getting along with the M1 chassis.

That chassis is more or less a Lorenzo chassis. Nothing against him, just not many people have his riding style. Proved by Ben Spies, Valentino Rossi, and Colin Edwards. Perhaps AE would be even faster on a more suited chassis. We will see.

Strange that Colin can't use it in practice.

How is it even possible or legal to run the new chassis on raceday after qualifying on something else entirely. I cannot believe that will happen, it defies logic and racing common wisdom. It would be borderline insane to line up for a race on a new chassis without testing or practice on it.

That said, I am very happy to hear that Colin will have a chance at whatever point to get back on a chassis that he's comfortable with. Having known Colin from the days he beat Kenny Roberts Jr. for the AMA 250 GP title in the early '90s, I have an appreciation for what the Texas Tornado is capable of when he's comfortable on a bike. I'm thankful that he's being given the chance to end his MotoGP career on something he truly enjoys riding.

I do not know if you will have the time, but I would be interested to know what the differences are between the "old" and the "new" frames. (Maybe some of the people here can point them out). We saw clear changes with Ducati these past years, and even on Honda and Yamaha you can sometimes discern minor changes (e.g., swingarm geometry). It sounds like the Forward may look quite different.