Tales from a MotoGP star maker
Ramon Forcada is Jorge Lorenzo's crew chief. Over the last 20 years he's seen it all and overseen three of the four 'aliens' at various stages of their careers. Toby Moody caught up with him to find out the current state of Yamaha, and get a little nostalgic over the old days too
Ramon Forcada has been in the grand prix paddock for nearly 20 years as a crew chief and is now an essential part of the reigning world champion team along with Jorge Lorenzo at Yamaha.
Toby Moody caught up with Forcada to find out about the pressures involved in that 2010 title-winning season, how Lorenzo pushes the team to be the best, beating Valentino Rossi on the other side of the garage, and, interestingly enough, what it was like in the first year of MotoGP four stroke era (2002) when, as Alex Barros' crew chief, the Pons team got a Honda V5 and won first time out at Motegi.
Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former team-mate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider
On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy
Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Autosport - he faces with his eyes wide open…
Coinciding with the arrival of Massimo Rivola as head of its MotoGP division, Aprilia has undergone an internal revolution that has spurred it from occupying last place in the team standings to leading the table in the space of just two years. Those entrenched in the project reveal how the ex-Ferrari F1 chief has achieved the dramatic turnaround
Franco Morbidelli was long overdue a promotion to factory machinery when it finally came late last year, having finished runner-up in the 2020 standings on an old Yamaha package. But since then the Italian has been a shadow of his former self as he toils to adapt to the 2022 M1, and recognises that he needs to change his style to be quick on it
The once all-conquering Japanese manufacturers are going through a difficult period in MotoGP this season. With Suzuki quitting, Honda struggling to get near the podium and Yamaha only enjoying success courtesy of Fabio Quartararo, Japanese manufacturers have been left in the dust by their European counterparts. Key paddock figures explain why.
Valentino Rossi’s protégés stole the show at Assen as Francesco Bagnaia stormed to victory to arrest a recent barren run. But it was the rider in second, on Bagnaia’s old bike, who had all eyes on him. Securing his and the VR46 team’s first MotoGP podium, Marco Bezzecchi has all the characteristics that made his mentor special
Dani Pedrosa pleased with fitness so far in Mugello practice
Jorge Lorenzo sets stunning Mugello practice pace for Yamaha