Moto2 team Forward Racing has announced an unexpected split with historic Italian manufacturer MV Agusta only weeks before the start of the 2023 season.
The partnership between the two, which stretches back to 2019, is ending due to what the team cited as ‘economic demands’ from the factory.
“After five years of partnership in the Moto2 World Championship, the collaboration between Forward and the motorcycle brand MV Agusta is discontinued,” it announced in a press release.
“Forward Team, after careful consideration, has decided to continue the development project, whose intellectual property is owned by the Italian-Swiss racing team, on its own.
“MV Agusta’s economic demands are too high, compared to just using the brand in racing.
“Forward Team, in the voice of team owner Giovanni Cuzari, wishes the best to MV Agusta. Proud to have written, in these seasons, a few small pieces of history together with the Schiranna brand.”
What exact shape that future direction takes remains to be seen, as the team prepare to start the new season with Marcos Ramirez and Alex Escrig already signed up to ride for it.
Forward partnered with MV Agusta to work on developing its own Moto2 chassis and eschewed the series norm of buying machinery from dominant manufacturer Kalex. The two parties instead worked closely with Swiss manufacturer Suter to forge their own path – a design that it seems, at least according to the team’s reference to intellectual property, remains controlled by team boss Cuzari.
That would mean something of a return to the past for the squad, which previously achieved limited success during MotoGP’s CRT era with a bike that was at least partly built in house, albeit while being based around Yamaha’s then-dominant M1 machine.
First competing in MotoGP in 2012 with a BMW-engined CRT machine piloted by Colin Edwards and Alex de Angelis, Forward made a switch to Yamaha-powered machines for 2014, with Aleix Espargaro achieving an unexpected podium at the Aragon Grand Prix.
The team has also generated plenty of headlines off the track too, with former riders and suppliers complaining publicly of delays in getting paid, while Forward’s future was thrown into question in the middle of the 2015 MotoGP season when boss Cuzari was arrested by Swiss authorities on corruption charges – which were later dropped.