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.

Photo: © 2014 Tony Goldsmith / TGF Photos – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

  • well … lets hope that Colin left a good frame for Stefan ;o|
    or is Colin staying in the team, even after this season, as somekind of testrider ??

  • jzj

    I’ve lost the Forward picture: can someone straighten me out? Are both Espargaro and Edwards presently using the same Forward chassis? Are they both using the same Yamaha engine? What will be the Forward chassis/engine next year?

  • i think forward is using this year the tech3 hardware (engine+frame) from last year.
    next year they get only the engine from yamaha, the frame must be self-developed (ex-ftr guy will help there, i think)

  • BBQdog

    I can’t understand Yamaha let Aleix Espagaro go ….

  • NGM isn’t yamaha (as far as i know)

  • Betty Draper

    Best of luck to Stefan! He’s a quality racer and seems like a humble guy. I’m always cheering for him!

  • crshnbrn

    BBQdog says: “I can’t understand Yamaha let Aleix Espagaro go ….”

    Not only that, but Aleix going to Suzuki?

    Aleix is currently 6th in points – highest position for non-factory rider. He can ride. The bike is no slouch and may be even better next year with a Taylor-made chassis. If he wants to develop something, develop that for two years then grab Rossi’s seat when the music stops two years from now.

  • @crshnbrn:
    factory team has just more options … development and career wise.
    (money, probably, isn’t too bad there either)

  • crshnbrn

    ^ That is probably very true of “some” factories. Perhaps we could get a third opinion from Cal Crutchlow.

  • crshnbrn

    I’m sure he would give us one.