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
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021