The Yamaha chassis on the new Open class Forward M1 may have been billed as a temporary measure until FTR constructed its own version, but pre-season star Aleix Espargaro admits he now has no intention of moving away from the Yamaha design.

Originally labelled as just an M1 engine-lease, on bikes to be named FTR-Yamahas, Forward Racing is also running a Yamaha chassis and swing-arm, plus Factory Ohlins suspension.

The FTR name was recently removed from the official bike title (now known as a 'Forward Yamaha') casting doubt on whether the British manufacturer will replace the Yamaha parts.

At Qatar on Wednesday Espargaro made clear he will not be moving away from a package with which he set the fourth fastest lap time at both Sepang tests, then went quickest of all - in the absence of the official teams - in the Qatar test.

"I will not use the FTR frame this season even if it arrives," Espargaro declared.

"I know Colin [Edwards, team-mate] is really interested to try it. He wanted to try it in Malaysia and Qatar. Now he is pushing with the boss to try it in the next races, or Jerez, as soon as he can.

"But it is not my plan to try, because this bike is competitive and I don't want to invent."

The Yamaha chassis parts mean the Forward machines are very close in specification to last year's Tech 3 Yamaha bikes, albeit fitted with the Open class ECU.

This in turn means they are allowed four litres more fuel and a softer tyre allocation relative to the factory class. The extra engine changes allowed for the Open category will not be a factor for Forward, with Yamaha planning the same five changes as for its Factory riders.

Unlike the 2014 Movistar and Tech 3 Yamaha riders, Espargaro and Edwards do not have a seamless shift gearbox. The first practice session for the new Factory/Open class MotoGP line-up takes place this (Thursday) evening.



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