Stefan Bradl Confirmed At Forward Racing For 2015

As had been widely anticipated, Stefan Bradl has signed with the NGM Forward Racing team for the 2015 season. The German had been forced to look for a ride after losing his support from HRC, Honda providing a major part of the backing for Bradl at the LCR Honda team. Although LCR were keen to retain the German, without financial support from HRC, that would have been a costly business. With HRC backing Cal Crutchlow, Bradl was left to look elsewhere.

The 2011 Moto2 champion will switch to NGM Forward for 2015, where he will help lead development of the Forward Yamaha. That bike - a Yamaha M1 engine in a chassis built by Forward and designed by ex-FTR chassis guru Mark Taylor, running under the Open class rules - has shown promise in the hands of Aleix Espargaro at the Sachsenring, when the Spaniard tested it during practice. Having a rider of Bradl's caliber should help make the project more competitive. Bradl was keen to have a competitive ride for next season, after losing the LCR Honda seat, and the Forward Yamaha is one of the very best seats available.

The second seat at Forward remains unfilled for the moment. With Aleix Espargaro set to depart for Suzuki next year, the team could look to Moto2, where Dominique Aegerter or possibly Mika Kallio could move up, or possibly Alex De Angelis, who is due to substitute for Colin Edwards at Brno and the three flyaway rounds this season. 

Below is the press release from Forward Racing announcing the Bradl deal:

NGM Forward Racing signs with Stefan Bradl for the 2015 season

The NGM Forward Racing is pleased to officially announce an agreement has been reached with Stefan Bradl that will see the 24 year old German rider racing in the NGM Forward Racing Team on board of a Forward Yamaha for the 2015 season.

Giovanni Cuzari, team manager

“It’s with great pleasure that we welcome Stefan Bradl in our team. We believe that Stefan is a strong rider and our package suits his riding style very well and we look forward to start this new cooperation. Moreover, Germany represents an important market and it’s important to have a strong German rider in our line up”.

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After a difficult time at LCR the jury is still out on Bradl's abilities to adapt his talents to the MotoGP class. Maybe it wasn't a good fit with LCR, time will tell, but Stefan must deliver for Forward Racing a Aleix Espargaro type performance or he won't be long for the top class in Grand Prix racing.

I think it will be unfair to project what Stefan Bradl can do on the Forward Yamaha in the light of Aleix Espargaro's achievements this year. The problem is with the chassis situation. Espargaro has been using the factory provided chassis and some rumours claim that Yamaha is not willing to extend that benefit to Forward next year and therefore they will have to move to FTR for their frames and chassis. If that is indeed the case Bradl will be riding a bike that maybe very different from Espargaro's. I therefore feel we as the audience should not start with where Espargaro is today for laying down standards to comparisons. Bradl is in a new situation and that we have to acknowledge and that means right now is not the time to even start thinking of what Bradl can, may or would achieve next year.

Bradl can certainly be fast, has led many races, yet seemed to crumble under the pressure by either falling or not managing his tires well. Maybe a slight decrease in pressure by being in the Open class might help him out. He is too good of a rider to simply write him off so soon.

There's been a lot of pressure on him for a while now. Perhaps going to NGM will take a little light off of him and let him just get his head behind the bubble and sort out the last third of the race. He seems to drop pace around that point.

He rides with great style. I would like to see him succeed.


What insight is there re specifically the power deficit/top speed deficit of the Yamaha engine in Open spec?


The open Spec engine is roughly 6-9 kmph slower than the factory Yam engine on an average. Could be worse next year if Yamaha does not give the chassis to NGM.

Sorry I am not very insightful :)

Forward should be looking to Moto 2 alright but why bring back a couple of guys, Alex De Angelis and Mika Kallio, who had their chance and didn't make it?
Plenty of talent up and coming in Moto 2, Moto 3, World Supersport and World Super Bike. Come on Dorna, we're all one big happy family now, let's see the best of the best in MotoGP, the next best in WSBK and designate Moto 2, Moto 3, and World Supersport as what they are, the minor leagues, grooming riders to get to MotoGP and WSBK.

I'd like to see Mika in Moto GP again. He was on a Pramac Ducati the first time around. Tough bike to ride, but he was still rookie of the year.

Interesting note that his Pramac teammate was Aleix Espargaro. It would be sort of like closing a loop for him to take over Aleix's seat next year.

i think it will be a stupid move if ngm will sign de angelis next season. that guy had passed his prime and will never be competitive in motogp.

... and one that pays the bills. It's a pretty standard business model for the middle to lower order teams.