Tech3 will end its partnership with Yamaha at the end of the 2018 season
After 20 years of MotoGP partnership, Tech3 will split with Yamaha at the end of the 2018 season. Tech3 will continue competing in the MotoGP and Moto2 championships, and will announce plans for 2019 at a later date.
Tech3 announced this week that Hafizh Syahrin will partner Johann Zarco for the 2018 as Jonas Folger will sit out the 2018 season due to illness. Team manager Hervé Poncharal thanked Yamaha and said that the manufacturer had offered it a new deal, but Tech3 declined.
“To summarize 20 years of an incredible partnership between Tech3 and Yamaha in a few words is a very difficult mission,” said Poncharal. “Since 1998, 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.
“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.”
Yamaha is deciding whether to run a satellite team for 2019. Yamaha motor sport development head, Kouichi Tsuji, said that the decision from Tech3 to split was ‘regretful’ and “a bit sad.”
“Very recently we were informed by Hervé Poncharal, the owner of Tech3, that he has decided not to extend his contract with Yamaha to lease YZR-M1 bikes,” said Tsuji. “After discussions with Hervé 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 Hervé’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.”