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”.