News 23 Feb 2018

Tech3 and Yamaha to part ways following 2018 season

French organisation will join forces with a fresh manufacturer next year.

Image: Supplied.

Tech3 will split with Yamaha in the MotoGP World Championship from 2019, the decision announced overnight in Europe.

Following a 20-year partnership that has seen the French organisation establish itself as the top satellite team in the premier class, Tech3 will change manufacturers next year.

“To summarise 20 years of an incredible partnership between Tech3 and Yamaha in a few words is a very difficult mission,” commented Monster Yamaha Tech3 manager Herve Poncharal. “Since I first met Mr. Iio in 1998, where he gave me the opportunity to join Yamaha Motor Corporation, it has been an extraordinary journey together.

“All I remember are fantastic memories, great results, an awesome atmosphere and astonishing feelings we shared with the Yamaha family, which will always be in my mind and in my heart. Clearly, to end that kind of partnership is a big decision for me. All I want to say is more than a huge thank you to Yamaha, to Mr. Tsuji, Mr. Tsuya, Mr. Jarvis and Mr. Nakajima, plus all the guys that have been supporting and helping us.

“Tech3 is a small company, which has to think about the future and has to weigh the different options. We’ve been offered a deal, that includes something we’ve been waiting for almost since we started with Tech3 and I couldn’t say no. But obviously, we are the Monster Yamaha Team until the last lap of the Valencia GP 2018.

“Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin will be fighting for top positions and without a doubt, Yamaha can count on us to be a loyal performant partner. One more time a huge thank you for Yamaha’s support. I hope they can carry on and have the success they deserve and eventually find a partner to replace Tech3.”

Both Yamaha and Tech3 will continue to work closely together throughout the upcoming 2018 season with Zarco and Syahrin, with the team’s future – linked to an assortment of brands – due to be announced ‘at a later date’.

“Very recently we were informed by Herve Poncharal, the owner of Tech3, that he has decided not to extend his contract with Yamaha to lease YZR-M1 bikes,” explained Kouichi Tsuji, president of Yamaha Motor Racing. “After discussions with Herve it was clear that he has chosen to align with a new partner for the future and therefore, regretfully, we were obliged to respect and accept his decision.

“The end of such a successful partnership is always a bit sad, as it also marks the end of a long-term relationship. We are very grateful for Herve’s loyalty and support to the Yamaha brand and for the excellent results obtained throughout that time. We will continue to provide our full support to the Tech3 team and their riders throughout the 2018 season, while we simultaneously evaluate our options for an alternative team in the MotoGP World Championship class for 2019 and beyond.”

It’s understood that Yamaha is currently evaluating whether it will operate a satellite team in 2018, with Valentino Rossi’s Sky Racing Team VR46 operation expected to make a transition to the premier class in the coming years.