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Forward Racing close to Yamaha, FTR deal

16 July 2013

NGM Forward Racing looks set to run the new Yamaha M1 engines in MotoGP next year.

The team, which stepped up to the premier-class under the soon to expire CRT rules last season, told the official MotoGP website that it has 'a verbal agreement in place' with Yamaha.

Forward is likely to pair the engines with an FTR chassis, as used by the present Kawasaki-powered machines of Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti.

Edwards, a former factory Yamaha rider, has pushed for M1 engines ever since the Forward project began, but - like Corti - is yet to sign for 2014.

Yamaha is prepared to lease the M1 engines to up to four privateers next year, but the identity of any teams - like those of the Honda production RCV and possible privateer Desmosedici - have yet to be officially announced.

The Yamaha engines will be of a similar spec to the satellite Yamaha Tech 3 team, but run the full control ECU system, mandatory for privateers. The main privateer perks will be four litres more fuel per race relative to the official MSMA (manufacturer) entries and twelve rather than five engine changes per season.

However the privateer M1 lease is likely to involve only three engines, two of which will then be reconditioned to reach five engine changes per season - the same number as for the full M1 prototypes.

It is assumed that the softer specification of rear tyre, made available by Bridgestone for the CRTs this season, will continue next year despite the scrapping of the claiming rule.

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