Tech 3 boss curious to understand FTR-Yamaha potential

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Satellite Yamaha MotoGP team boss Herve Poncharal says he is curious and interested to understand the performance potential of the new FTR-Yamaha non-factory machine in the 2014 world championship.

Yamaha is leasing a YZR-M1 engine and chassis package to the Italian-based Forward Racing squad next season as part of a bid by Yamaga, Honda and Ducati to put more affordable and competitive bikes on the grid.

The FTR-Yamaha that Colin Edwards and Aleix Espargaro will race will run four litres more fuel and softer Bridgestone tyres than the factory prototype YZR-M1 machinery that Poncharal’s French-based Monster Yamaha Tech 3 will run for Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro.

The other main difference is Forward Racing will be obliged to race the new standard Dorna-supplied ECU hardware and software.

The factory prototypes like those raced by Tech 3 will have to use standard hardware but they can still run Yamaha developed software strategies.

Many believe that the extra fuel and softer tyres will make the non-factory package a challenger for the prototypes at fuel thirsty tracks like Silverstone, Misano and Twin Ring Motegi.

But Poncharal said he is keen to see how the different approaches between the YZR-M1 that Tech 3 will race and the Forward Racing combination will shape up on track next season.

Poncharal told MCN: “The only difference is they will have 24 litres instead of 20 and they will have the Dorna ECU hardware and software. I think it is going to be a really good bike and exciting and interesting to see how these engines are working with more fuel and the championship ECU. They have got good riders and with this bike and what Honda is also doing with its production bike, the grid is going to be very competitive."

"I have no problem at all because we like competition and shouldn’t fear them. I am happy MotoGP will be having a more competitive and higher quality grid. I think this was a good move from Yamaha and I am also interested to see how the engine will work with that different spec. It is going to be very interesting for Yamaha to see because the future could be everybody is going to be using the championship ECU."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt