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MotoGP Iconic bikes - The 2014 Forward Racing Yamaha - Everything Moto Racing

MotoGP Iconic bikes – The 2014 Forward Racing Yamaha

Now I know what you’re thinking, how can an open machine be classed as iconic?

How about being the only open class bike to take a pole position and a podium? Now I have your attention. Let’s look at the facts.

Born from the open class rules designed to bring MotoGP closer together, the Forward Yamaha was a 2013 Yamaha M1 in a different dress, with the sweet chassis untouched. There really wasn’t a better chassis the Forward team could have chosen, as although the bike had not won the title in 2013 it was still regarded as one of the strongest all-round packages along with the Honda that year.

There was a second machine, with a different frame built by Harris Performance and had bits made by FTR that was piloted by Colin Edwards, but this machine did not reach the heights of the Yamaha based machine that was ridden by Aleix Espargaro. Both machines were Yamaha based until Mugello, when Edwards took on the new frame.

Assen was the pinnacle of this setup, with Espargaro taking an unbelievable pole position at the Cathedral, and followed that up with a 4th place in the race. Better was yet to come in terms of races however, with the Aragon round being one of changeable conditions, presenting an opportunity for Espargaro to put the bike on the podium outright, rather than just being in parc ferme as ‘top open machine’ and he grabbed it with both hands, taking 2nd place and making history in the process, becoming the first (and only) open class machine to ever podium.

The status this brings an open class machine should not be underestimated, and for this reason it fully deserves a title of an icon, as it will never be emulated, not even Aprilia’s full factory effort has done this well.

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