After a 20-year partnership in MotoGP with Yamaha, French racing team Tech 3 has announced that 2018 will be their last season with the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer. Yamaha has accepted Tech 3’s decision, and will provide full support for the team up to the end of this season’s championship.
However, Tech 3 will continue racing in both MotoGP and Moto 2 and will announce plans for 2019 and the future at a later date. “Very recently we were informed by Hervé Poncharal, the owner of Tech 3, that he has decided not to extend his contract with Yamaha to lease YZR-M1 bikes,” said Kouichi Tsuji, Yamaha Motorsports Development Division general manager and president of Yamaha Motor Racing.
“To summarise 20 years of an incredible partnership between Tech3 and Yamaha in a few words is a very difficult mission,” said Poncharal. “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,” he continued.
Thanking several key Yamaha personnel, Poncharal said Tech 3 will be a Monster Yamaha team right down to the last lap of the last race of the season, in Valencia, Spain. “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,” he said.
Tech 3 has been a Yamaha satellite team in MotoGP for two decades, usually running machinery one or two seasons removed from the current racing models. Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin, together with two-time Moto 2 champion Johann Zarco, will be riding for Tech 3 this season.