After a 20-year partnership in MotoGP with Yamaha, French racing team Tech 3 has announced that 2018 will be their last season with the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer.
This marks the end of a 20-year partnership between Tech 3 and Yamaha, which began in 1999.
The Tech3-Yamaha split opens up some questions that will need to be addressed going forward.
"After having impressed everyone with his rapid progress, his high motivation and his extraordinary learning curve during his first ever test aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 last week in Buriram, Thailand, Monster Yamaha Tech3 is eager to continue the great work together with the talented Malaysian youngster", the team stated on its official website. "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", said Poncharal.
"Herve is one of the most experienced people in the paddock and I often referred to him for advice every time we met during a GP". Of course, Herve had to take a softer, more professional approach with sponsors, especially as this particular one has been with them for a long time. "I hope they can carry on and have the success they deserve and eventually find a partner to replace Tech3". "After discussions with Hervé it was clear that he has chosen to align with a new partner for the future and therefore, regretfully, we were obliged to respect and accept his decision".
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Tech 3 ran ex-MotoGP man Yonny Hernandez at the recent Sepang pre-season test, although his contract with the Perdercini World Superbike team likely prevented him from becoming a full-season contender for the Tech 3 seat.
Syahrin has had three podium finishes in Moto2, with second place at last year's San Marino Grand Prix his best result. Aprilia may also be in the market for a satellite team.
Yamaha has not yet decided if it will continue to field a satellite team in 2019 or not.
At present, Tech3 uses year-old Yamaha machinery, although problems with the 2017 chassis mean Zarco has opted to remain on the 2016 design. The MotoGP season will kick-off at the Losail International Circuit in Buriram on March 18.
While Herve Poncharal, Tech 3 team manager, refused to go into details about the manufacturer they will tie up with starting in 2019, he did state that Tech 3 needed to consider its options and think about its future.