Forward Racing Reportedly Wants Compensation For Stefan Bradl

Forward Racing Yamaha rider Stefan Bradl isn’t free to ride for any MotoGP team as many of us initially thought. Turns out, his current team isn’t letting him go without any financial compensation.

Two days after the young 25-year old rider was reportedly free to hitch a ride with any MotoGP team after Forward Racing’s withdrawal from the Indianapolis Grand Prix, new reports have come out saying that Forward Racing team manager Marco Curioni isn’t letting his rider go without getting anything in return.

This development is a big hiccup with Bradl’s expected move to the Aprilia Gresini racing team, even though in hindsight, it really was the best move for the cash-strapped team. Simply letting Bradl go to another team meant that Forward Racing would be letting its most important racing asset go at no cost to the team getting him.

That’s bad business, especially when a rider of Bradl’s talent would’ve probably commanded a good price for a team that desparately needs money to stay afloat, at least until the criminal charges filed against team boss are resolved.

Brandl could still find a seat in time for the Indianapolis Grand Prix on August 9, 2015, but for that to happen, Aprilia Gresini would have to acquiesce to the demands of Forward Racing, something the team is unlikely to do on such short notice.

Curioni reportedly held discussions with Aprilia Gresini boss Fausto Gresini about loaning Bradl for the Indianapolis GP and then having the rider switch back to Forward Racing for the Brno Grand Prix. Such an agreement would allow Forward Racing to get its finances in order before the August 16, 2015 race and while it does sound good on paper, it’s doubtful that Aprilia Gresini would agree to a one-race rental for a rider it wants to sign on a long-term contract.

It’s become a messy situation for all parties concerned. Hopefully, a resolution happens in time for the Indy GP on August 8, 2015. Otherwise this thing could turn into a huge distraction for all parties concerned.

Continue reading to read more about the messy situation Stefan Bradl has found himself in.

Why it matters

As the team that employs Stefan Bradl, Forward Racing has every right to exercise whatever clause or clauses it has in its contract with the German rider. Based on numerous reports, it appears that it does have the option to “sell” Bradl to another team so it’s understandable that the team wants some compensation from Aprilia Gresini.

That’s just smart business. It’s also the reason why I was a little curious as to why Forward Racing would just let Bradl walk without getting anything in return. Sure, Aprilia Gresini may have been led to believe that it could sign the rider outright, but if Forward Racing can exercise its rights, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t do it.

It is, however, another headache the team can probably live without, especially when it’s outright existence is at stake. That’s a bigger and more important issue that needs to be addressed. That said, if selling Bradl to another team for a price will help Forward Racing with its finances, then by all means, it’s an option the team should take.

I feel bad for Bradl because you can’t fault for him for just wanting to race. It’s not his fault that Forward Racing boss is being charged for corruption and money laundering, and as a result, paralyzing the team’s capacity to race at the Indianapolis Grand Prix on August 9, 2015. He shouldn’t be punished for someone else’s mistake.

It’s just unfortunate that this mess with team boss had to happen right smack in the middle of the 2015 MotoGP season. I hope everything works out for all parties concerned, however that plays out. It would be a shame if this saga dominates the headlines when we’re all set to start the second half of the season.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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