Guy Coulon to crew chief for Andrea Dovizioso

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French engineer Guy Coulon will work as Andrea Dovizioso’s MotoGP crew chief in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad in 2012.

The Italian rider had initially wanted former Team Roberts and Suzuki crew chief Tom O’Kane to join him at Tech 3 next season after he left the Repsol Honda squad at the end of 2011.

But even though Suzuki decided to suspend its participation in MotoGP until the 2014 world championship campaign, O’Kane turned down the Tech 3 approach.

Dovizioso worked with Coulon during his Yamaha 1000cc debut at the two-day Valencia test session back in November and has decided to work with the vastly experienced engineer, who most recently worked with American Colin Edwards since 2009.

Coulon initially intended to step away from the Tech 3 MotoGP squad this year to concentrate on being Technical Director of the team’s Mistral 610 Moto2 project.
He was also to commence work on a new MotoGP chassis that Tech 3 intends to develop for a CRT project in the future.

Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal told MCN: “Andrea was very keen on Tom but when it was clear he wasn’t going to join us we had to look at some other options. But there is nobody available with Guy’s experience and nobody who has such knowledge of the Yamaha YZR-M1. I think after working well with Guy at the Valencia test that Andrea realised that he wasn’t going to find anybody who was going to be a better option than Guy. Guy also likes the way Andrea approaches working on the bike, so I think they are going to enjoy a successful relationship together.”

Former 125GP world champion Dovizioso is currently recovering from a broken right collarbone he suffered during a motocross training accident in Italy last Thursday.

He underwent successful surgery on Saturday and is expected to be fit for the opening test of 2012 at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia that kicks off on January 31.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt