Tech 3 and Yamaha keen on extending MotoGP relationship

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 18 February 2013 09:26

The French-based Tech 3 squad that will run an all-British line-up of Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith in 2013 will seek to extend its long and successful relationship with Yamaha beyond the current world championship campaign.


Herve Poncharal’s Tech 3 squad has operated a satellite Yamaha team in MotoGP since 2001 and the Japanese factory is also confident a new two-year agreement will be finalised for 2014 and 2015 when serious negotiations commence in the coming weeks.

Tech 3 and Yamaha’s association is closer than ever now with Monster Energy not only title backers of Crutchlow and Smith’s squad, but the American energy drink giant has recently inked a deal to be a partner of the factory team supporting reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo and Italian icon Valentino Rossi.

Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis has told MCN that he fully expects to agree a two-year renewal with Tech 3 for 2014 and 2015.

He also said that in the future the Tech 3 squad will be used much more of a feeder team to trial young talent, with a view to the best getting an opportunity to move to Yamaha’s factory squad.

Unlike rivals Honda, which has heavy involvement in the Moto3 and Moto3 classes, Yamaha has no way of integrating promising young talent into its system outside of MotoGP.

And Jarvis told MCN: “Our current deal with Tech 3 expires at the end of this year but we fully expect to renew. Our relationship with them goes back many years and we are very happy with that. The fact we now share major sponsors will only be a benefit.

Having a feeder system with young riders can be quite interesting. Honda has an involvement in Moto2 and Moto3 and we don’t and they can develop a relationship with a young rider from a young age. We are blocked from doing that but hopefully with Monster we can look at new talent and bring them on at the appropriate stage into Tech 3 and hopefully one day into the factory team.”

The rider development strategy is supported by Poncharal, who said he would work closely with Yamaha in the future on rider selection.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team enjoyed its best ever season in 2012 with Andrea Dovizioso claiming six podiums finishes and Crutchlow two, making him the first British rider to stand on a MotoGP rostrum in 12 years.

The Frenchman told MCN: “With Yamaha I’ve enjoyed the best ever relationship I’ve ever had with a manufacturer and it makes sense to carry on for at least another two years. We have common partners and together we are working on some rider strategy.

Yamaha at the moment has the current world champion and they have the current superstar. Maybe Valentino will finish his career at the end of 2014. I don’t know what he is going to do and Lorenzo will not be around forever, so Yamaha needs to think about a future strategy in terms of the rider line-up.

Tech 3 has always played an important role as the feeder team for the factory. We did it for Ben (Spies) and Cal is a potential future factory rider and also Bradley could be interesting for them.

Each time I make a rider selection or talk to a sponsor we do it together. On the future I would like more and more to be part of a global strategy. We are not the team with the mission to win the championship but together can talk and make a strong plan together.”