Vinales appoints new Yamaha MotoGP crew chief, splits with Forcada

Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Vinales will split with crew chief Ramon Forcada at the end of the 2018 season

Vinales appoints new Yamaha MotoGP crew chief, splits with Forcada

Forcada was Jorge Lorenzo's long-time crew chief at the Yamaha works team and he stayed on to partner Vinales when the three-time champion left for Ducati.

Vinales had made a strong start to his career with Yamaha but his form faded and a patchy beginning to 2018 led to suggestions he and Forcada (below) were heading for a split.

The Spanish rider admitted in May that they had gone through a "difficult" phase in their professional relationship.

Speaking during the Czech Republic Grand Prix weekend, Vinales announced that Esteban Garcia - Bradley Smith's crew chief at KTM - will take Forcada's place in 2019.

Garcia worked with Vinales in Moto3 in 2013, helping him to take the lightweight class title that year.

"I'm looking forward to working with Esteban, because in 2013 he brought the best out of me," Vinales said.

"And that's what's important, to feel good about my people. All I want is to make my own team."

Vinales was known to have targeted his former Suzuki MotoGP crew chief Jose Manuel Cazeaux, but was not successful in luring him away from working with Alex Rins.

Forcada is now set to switch to Yamaha's new SIC Racing satellite team, where he is expected to work with Franco Morbidelli.

Rider performance analyst Wilco Zeelenberg, who has worked closely with Vinales, is also tipped to be joining the Malaysian outfit in the team manager role.

Vinales also has a replacement in mind for Zeelenberg, as he said he "would like very much to have" 2009 125cc champion Julian Simon come on board in a similar role.

"Sometimes there are things that you can't see on the bike, and it's really important to have one person like Wilco - to be calm, to know where you make a mistake - because sometimes you are trying one corner a thousand times but you are not on the correct line," said Vinales.

"The riders never do all the corners perfectly, so it's important to have someone that looks at the opponents and also sees what our bike does.

"For me [it is] important is to compare what I say and what [somebody] like Wilco sees when I'm on the bike."

shares
comments
MotoGP Brno: Honda's Pedrosa fastest from Petrucci in mixed up FP2
Previous article

MotoGP Brno: Honda's Pedrosa fastest from Petrucci in mixed up FP2

Next article

Jorge Lorenzo to try 'radical' set-up changes after Brno MotoGP practice

Jorge Lorenzo to try 'radical' set-up changes after Brno MotoGP practice
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Plus

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

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

MotoGP
Aug 8, 2022
Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time Plus

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time

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

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Plus

Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

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…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Plus

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022
The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader Plus

The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader

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

MotoGP
Jul 15, 2022
The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP Plus

The battle Yamaha's wayward son is fighting to be fast again in MotoGP

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

MotoGP
Jul 13, 2022
Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era Plus

Why Honda and Yamaha have been left behind in MotoGP's new era

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.

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2022
Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star? Plus

Who is Valentino Rossi’s newest MotoGP star?

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

MotoGP
Jun 27, 2022