Just a day after signing Hafizh Syahrin at Tech 3 Yamaha, team manager Herve Poncheral has announced that he will split with the Japanese manufacturer. 20 years together, the Tech 3 team have seen world champions come through their garage doors, such as Cal Crutchlow, Andrea Dovizioso, Colin Edwards, James Toseland and currently, Johann Zarco. It is unknown to whether or not the team will remain in the paddock with their Moto2 project or if their will be a new Yamaha independent team, although Poncheral has said that he has been ‘offered a deal’.
“To summarise 20 years of an incredible partnership between Tech3 and Yamaha in a few words is a very difficult mission. 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,” began the Frenchman – a popular character in the MotoGP paddock.
“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.”
The news comes just a day after the announcement of Pecco Bagnaia to the Pramac Ducati team. One would now think that with the demise of the Tech 3 and Yamaha partnership, that Valentino Rossi may well step back from GP riding to manage a possible Sky VR46 Yamaha team. This may well be supported by the fact that he has had a terrible test with Yamaha – we must stress this is speculation and not fact.
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