Sepang test preview: Tech 3 boss confident crew chief switch will work

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Tech 3 Yamaha boss Herve Poncharal is in no doubt that James Toseland and Colin Edwards’ controversial crew chief switch will benefit the top satellite team in MotoGP.

The French-based team boss has switched Edwards’ 2008 crew chief Gary Reynders to Toseland’s side of the garage after the British rider had communication issues with his chief engineer Guy Coulon.

Toseland’s request and the subsequent fallout infuriated double World Superbike champion Edwards.

But ahead of the second test since the change was implemented in Malaysia this week (February 5-7), Poncharal told MCN:  “I can’t say that I was happy initially with the switch.

“I was put in a situation that I didn’t expect and it was not easy for me to deal with and I had to make a difficult decision. But this is my job, and a manager has to manage and decide.

“Now it has been done and it is behind us, I honestly believe this is something very good that happened to us. As I said before James has asked, and I think this is normal, for things he wanted.

“My job is to give him everything he thinks is good for him and what he wants. We know the psychological side is very important for a rider and James believes he can do better with Gary for a lot of reasons.

“This was inside his mind and we know that a rider will never be a machine, so he had confidence and they both wanted to work together, so it was a case of lets go and do it.”

Poncharal though also believes that the move will galvanise Texan Edwards, who secured an extension to his deal having initially planned to quit MotoGP at the end of 2008.

Poncharal added: “Colin was not happy with this and I really understand this because his relationship with Gary was good and close and I think he never believed that what could happen did happen.

“He’s been very disappointed and hurt, but in Jerez at the end of last year, on and off the bike, Colin was very focused.

“I believe this will relight the fire for Colin and I’m quite sure he wants to beat everybody, but he will definitely want to beat James and Gary more than ever before. So we have two very motivated riders which is all you can ask for.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt