SportMotoGPRamón Forcada, through the eyes of four world champions

Ramón Forcada, through the eyes of four world champions

Although it was apparently just one more, for those who have spent many years in the MotoGP paddock at the Aragón Grand Prix, the absence of one of the most beloved, admired and respected people on the circuits was felt, technician Ramón Forcada , who, After more than three decades without missing a race weekend, he was not at Motorland.

With the announcement of Andrea Dovizioso’s retirement before the end of the season, the end has also come, at least for now, for the Spanish coach, who at 65 years of age is meditating between retiring permanently or accepting one of the offers that are coming to him for continue in 2023.

“It would have to be something very interesting, something new and something that would motivate me”, assured Ramón to whom this writes in Misano when asked if he was going to continue being active.

Whether or not he was in the paddock, San Marino was definitely his last grand prix at the highest level, as a track engineer for a top class rider, one of the many that have passed through his hands.

Forcada, who made his debut in 1989 alongside Alex Crivillé in the 125cc World Championship, has worked with many very good riders over these more than thirty years, such riders as John Kocinski , Alex Barros , Carlos Checa , Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo. , with whom he was between 2008 and 2016, at Yamaha, achieving three MotoGP crowns in addition to 44 grand prix victories in the premier class. In the last stage of his career, Forcada was in the pits of Maverick Viñales, Franco Morbidelli before finishing with the aforementioned Dovizioso.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing y Ramón Forcada

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing and Ramon Forcada

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Beyond his track record, motorsport.com spoke with some of the world champions who have worked with the Moià coach throughout this time, in order to understand what he is like and what he meant in their respective races.

“Ramón, for me, is a very intelligent person, with a lot of character and personality, at the suspension level, in my opinion, he was the best”, introduces Jorge Lorenzo when they ask him to talk about Forcada.

“Then, he was someone who had many resources, having so much experience and intelligence, he always found a solution for everything. Sometimes even too much, I remember that on some occasion I would tell him about a problem and try to change the bike, and in some moments of In my career we had to sit down and stop that dynamic a bit,” recalls the three-time MotoGP champion.

“But in general, and especially at the suspension level, he was a crack, one of the best Spanish technicians in history,” says the Mallorcan, who had nine years as a track engineer at Yamaha.

Another world champion, in this case Moto2, who passed through the hands of Forcada is the Italian Franco Morbidelli, who together with the Catalan, in 2020, achieved the MotoGP runner-up position with a discontinued Yamaha.

“Ramón, in my opinion, has been the best technical boss in history, a very important character for this paddock, who can teach a lot of people a lot”, Morbidelli is forceful.

“The truth is that I feel very bad about the possibility of not seeing him here again. In addition to being a great coach, he is an excellent person with whom I have always found myself very good working. If I don’t see him again in the paddock it will be something I don’t like at all,” he adds.

Forcada, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Forcada, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

By Yamaha’s decision, when Morbielli moved from the satellite team to the factory team last year, the two paths separated. Since then the Italian has not raised his head, something that, however, has not led him to try to recover him.

“No, the story with Ramón is over. It was very nice, but it’s over,” he says.

Maverick Viñales arrived at Yamaha in 2017 to replace Lorenzo, inheriting a large part of his technical team. The now Aprilia rider, Moto3 champion in 2013, won his debut race, in Qatar, with the M1, second and fifth, leading the World Championship. However, things went wrong for Mack and Ramón, and although they achieved third place in the championship in 2018, they ended up separated and with Forcada in the satellite team Petronas, now RNF.

“I was talking to him in Misano and, personally, I believe and hope that he is not going to leave yet, that next year they are going to offer him something nice for sure, so that he continues working here. For me, Ramón is one of the three best technicians from this paddock,” says Viñales.

“The time I was with Ramón I learned a lot, especially about the set-up, he explained the details of the bike very well, he made me understand how the Yamaha worked. I think that Ramón can be very important for someone starting out, a young pilot with projection,” he recommends.

“There were three or four circuits in which Ramón was capable of doing something with the setting that the bike was spectacular, I don’t know what he had for it, it was incredible. At Le Mans, I remember him telling me not to worry, that he was in charge of the adjustments and we were going like a plane. Ramón knows a lot, he has a lot of experience”, acknowledges the Spaniard, who, despite the fact that the relationship with Forcada did not end well professionally, “personally we have always had a good relationship”.

Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing, Ramon Forcada, Yamaha Factory Racing

Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing, Ramon Forcada, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Another world champion, in this case of SBK, the Spanish Carlos Checa, coincided with Forcada in 1995, and curiously he finished his career, again with him, in LCR, just in 2007, the year he replaced Casey Stoner in the team. Honda satellite, and the season before Dani Amatriain signed him to be with Lorenzo at Yamaha.

“I have maintained a very special relationship with Ramón, when I started in the World Championship, in 1994, I already knew him and the following year, when I joined the Sito Pons team in 250cc, I was already with him. The working relationship was maintained when I moved up to 500cc two more seasons, and the good thing is that in my last year in MotoGP (2007), with Lucio Cecchinello , I was with him again, precisely what made me accept the offer was that Ramón was there and there was a very good group of mechanics, whom he knew”, explains Checa his relationship with Forcada.

“When he started, Ramón was very closed technically, but he super evolved and worked hard. Last year I already saw a technician who knew perfectly how to unite with the rider. Ramón knew very well how to channel the emotions and sensations of the riders to interpret them and apply them to the technical section. And that is key for an engineer, since this is a very technological sport, but also very emotional, and being able to merge both aspects is what makes Ramón someone special”, describes the man from Sant Fruitós .

“One of Ramón’s best characteristics is having known how to understand the rider, motivate him, lead him and, always, remain strict and rigid in the method, without making changes to please the rider. He has always known how to maintain the line of work and that has become a very successful technician.

“We will miss Ramón a lot in the paddock. He is a person with whom you can talk about everything and from any time at a technical level, with enormous knowledge. Forcada, without a doubt, is one of the great sages of this world of motorcycling”, catalogs the now television commentator.

Carlos Checa junto a Ramón Forcada en el box de LCR en 2007

Carlos Checa with Ramón Forcada in the LCR box in 2007

Photo by: Team LCR

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