Author: Bike Social Sports Reporter Posted: 21 Jul 2014
Suzuki look set to announce their rider line-up for the 2015 season this week with Aleix Espargaro expected to join Moto3 champion Maverick Vinales in the Japanese factory’s returning effort, according to paddock insiders.
Suzuki had made their intention to secure a front-running MotoGP rider for their 2015 return and rumours had been that the Hamamatsu factory was keen to secure either of Ducati’s factory riders but with both Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso opting to stay put with the Italian marque Suzuki were forced to look elsewhere.
After a strong season on the open-specification Forward Yamaha, Espargaro has said he’d much prefer to be on a factory bike for 2015 rather than remain in the open class. With all three current factory line-ups staying the same, Suzuki is the Spaniard’s only option for a Spanish team.
For the second time in a year, Espargaro will be leaving a MotoGP team mid-contract with a hefty bill. Giovanni Cuzari’s Forward Racing squad bought Espargaro out of his two-year contract with Aspar at the end of last season. The Spaniard’s decision to leave the team to join Suzuki could well mean he has to pay some, if not all of this back to Forward Racing.
Espargaro’s departure will leave Forward Racing with two seats spare for 2015 as Colin Edwards is set to retire at the end of the season. Bradley Smith and Stefan Bradl have been linked with the Italian outfit should they lose their satellite Yamaha and Honda rides respectively.