MotoGP: James Toseland’s Tech 3 Yamaha team confident in sponsor search

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Tech 3 Yamaha boss Herve Poncharal is confident he will be able to find big-money investment to back James Toseland and Colin Edwards in the 2008 MotoGP world championship. 

It seems certain Tech 3 will switch tyre brands in 2008, which would mean the French-based squad losing its current major investor in Dunlop.

Dunlop currently fund the vast bulk of the Tech 3 season budget, and a switch to a rival tyre brand will leave Herve Poncharal in the market for a new title sponsor.

No official announcement has been made yet on which tyre brand James Toseland and Colin Edwards will run, but it seems likely their YZR-M1 machines will run on Michelin rubber.

Herve Poncheral told MCN: “I have been working for a long time with sponsors and I’m quite confident. Until you sign the contract you never know.

“I’m confident we will have new partners on board and that was happening before we even signed James. For sure signing James gives much more credibility to our project and Colin joining this will be another plus.

“Clearly in the scenario that Dunlop is not going to be with us next year then we have to find somebody to replace their investment because they are the major investor by far in out team.

“First you need bikes and then you need riders, only once you have that have you got something to sell. It is easier to sell with James Toseland than Makoto Tamada, with the greatest respect to Makoto.”

James Toseland’s defection from Honda to Yamaha appeared to rule out Hannspree moving with him to MotoGP.

Hannspree currently back James Toseland’s Ten Kate Honda World Superbike squad and there is already a contract in place for the 2008 WSB series.

Hannspree has also recently penned a deal to be title sponsors of the World Superbike championship next season, and they also currently back Fausto Gresini’s Honda MotoGP squad with Marco Melandri and Toni Elias.

But Poncharal said: “I think Hannspree is linked for another year with World Superbikes and Ten Kate. But they are also very keen to try and keep a link with James.

“He is their leading rider and they advertise a lot with him and there are some possibilities.”


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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt