Tech 3 ponder chassis project for Yamaha lease engine

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Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith’s Tech 3 squad is mulling over a new chassis project that could see the French-based outfit join forces with a team leasing Yamaha’s YZR-M1 engine package in 2014.

Yamaha is planning to make a YZR-M1 engine package available to lease for up to four riders next year in a bid to put more competitive machinery on the grid.

And Herve Poncharal’s Tech 3 squad has been pondering whether or not to become a chassis supplier to any team that collaborates with Yamaha on the engine deal.

Tech 3 has a long and close association with Yamaha, having run its satellite MotoGP team since 2001.

Tech 3 has also gained crucial experience in chassis design and development after entering the Moto2 category in 2010 with its own Mistral 610 frame.

Poncharal told MCN: “We have been planning to discuss this together with Yamaha but I could be interested. It is quite a heavy decision. We have the MotoGP project with Yamaha and we are doing from A to Z our own Moto2 machine.

So I will never enter in anything that I didn’t give a lot of thought to before, or anything that could compromise our existing activity. I don’t want to say we can do something and then we can’t deliver on people’s expectations. If you do that you have to be sure you can do it properly. I have been thinking about this but there is no decision because it is too early.”

Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis recently confirmed to MCN that the Japanese factory had not yet engaged in serious discussions with any parties interested in leasing the YZR-M1 engine, which will use the standard Dorna-supplied Magneti Marelli electronics.

Jarvis told MCN: “We have not had any in-depth discussions at all. We have had some people come to us to express a clear interest. We have not engaged in any discussions with constructors but it is not that simple.

If you want to use an M1 engine and get the best performance out of if you need to design the bike from the beginning with the engine in mind.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt