After seeing an Aspar Honda seat slip away, WSBK star Loris Baz has landed an alternative MotoGP ride at Forward Yamaha.

Baz and his management insisted they had a signed, binding agreement for an Open class Honda at Aspar, providing Scott Redding did not join the team. However Aspar subsequently raised concerns about Baz's height (6' 3") and the ride went to fellow WSBK frontrunner Eugene Laverty.

Baz's next best options were Forward Yamaha or Pramac Ducati and a deal - perhaps expedited by Dorna, who would welcome a fast Frenchman and perhaps the chance to diffuse any potential legal challenge over the Aspar situation - has now been completed that will see Baz ride alongside fellow new arrival Stefan Bradl.

21-year-old Baz has claimed two wins and 13 podiums during his three seasons in WSBK. He is currently fifth in this year's standings, which are led by team-mate and reigning champion Tom Sykes.

"It's a pleasure to welcome Loris Baz in our team," said Forward Racing team owner Giovanni Cuzari, pictured with Baz at the recent Aragon round. "He is a young rider who has proved to be fast in World Superbikes and we would like to give him the possibility to show his talent also in MotoGP.

"I'm very happy to start this new adventure with Loris and bring this new rider in the premier class, continuing our mission of talent scout team alongside of Yamaha.

"Loris will partner Stefan Bradl and we are delighted to line up a very young team with a 21 year old Frenchman and a 24 year old experienced German rider."

Forward has dominated the inaugural season of the Open class with lead rider Aleix Espargaro, who is sixth in the world championship with one pole and one podium. However there had been uncertainty over Forward's 2015 package, with Yamaha initially insisting it would only offer an engine supply next season.

Forward had been developing its own chassis in anticipation of such a move, but it has now been confirmed that Yamaha will continue to make official M1 frames and swingarms available in addition to the engines. That should match Honda's upgraded 2015 Open class effort, which will see this year's RCV1000R replaced by a factory RC213V-powered 'RS' model.

Colin Edwards began the season alongside Espargaro, but was replaced by Alex de Angelis after Indianapolis. Espargaro will move to the returning Suzuki factory team next season while de Angelis' plans are unknown.

Forward is the only team to run an Open class version of the Yamaha YZR-M1.



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