The Monster Energy Tech 3 team have dramatically announced that they will split with manufacturer Yamaha at the end of the 2018 MotoGP season, bringing to an end a twenty-year partnership that has seen the French team cement their place as the series’ premier satellite team.
Speaking in a statement released only a day after confirmed that Hafizh Syahrin would ride for the team this coming season, Poncharal made it clear that the decision to walk away from Yamaha was his, opening up speculation that the team will make a switch to Suzuki, KTM or even Aprilia machinery for next season.
“To summarize 20 years of an incredible partnership between Tech3 and Yamaha in a few words is a very difficult mission. Since I first met Mr. Iio in 1998, where he gave me the opportunity to join Yamaha Motor Corporation, it has been an extraordinary journey together. All I remember are fantastic memories, great results, an awesome atmosphere and astonishing feelings we shared with the Yamaha family, which will always be in my mind and in my heart. Clearly, to end that kind of partnership is a big decision for me.
“All I want to say is more than a huge thank you to Yamaha, to Mr. Tsuji, Mr. Tsuya, Mr. Jarvis and Mr. Nakajima, plus all the guys that have been supporting and helping us. Tech3 is a small company, which has to think about the future and has to weigh the different options.
“We’ve been offered a deal, that includes something we’ve been waiting for almost since we started with Tech3 and I couldn’t say no. But obviously, we are the Monster Yamaha Team until the last lap of the Valencia GP 2018. Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin will be fighting for top positions and without a doubt, Yamaha can count on us to be a loyal performant partner. One more time a huge thank you for Yamaha’s support. I hope they can carry on and have the success they deserve and eventually find a partner to replace Tech3.”