Colin Edwards is to finally get the new chassis he has been waiting for. NGM Forward boss Giovanni Cuzari told MotoGP.com 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.