Yamaha and Tech3 to Part Ways Following '18 Season


"We've been offered a deal, that includes something we've been waiting for nearly since we started with Tech3 and I couldn't say no", team boss Herve Poncharal explains below.

"It's been a tough time since we heard from Jonas Folger, that unfortunately he decided not to race in 2018 in order to look after his health and try to fully recover", said team manager Herve Poncharal in a statement.

Hafizh Syahrin will become MotoGP's first ever Malaysian rider, following Tech 3's decision to choose the 23 year old as the unwell Jonas Folger's replacement.

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"To summarise 20 years of an incredible partnership between Tech3 and Yamaha in a few words is a very hard mission", said Poncharal.

"In Sepang I met (the Malaysian circuit chief executive) Razlan Razali, we were just chatting and now and then you have insane ideas, which are sometimes the ones that bring the best result". "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. Yamaha has accepted Tech 3's decision, and will provide full support for the team up to the end of this season's championship.

Yamaha, whose main factory team has Italy's nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi and Spaniard Maverick Vinales as riders, said they were deciding whether to run another "satellite team" next year. "I hope they can carry on and have the success they deserve and eventually find a partner to replace Tech3".

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Syahrin has been a regular fixture of the Moto2 class since 2014, scoring a best championship position of ninth in 2016 aboard a Petronas-backed Kalex and sealing two podium finishes past year.

He however went on to state that Yamaha would support Tech3 for the entire 2018 season.

And while Yamaha's factory team has endured a frustrating MotoGP pre-season thus far, Zarco appears to be enjoying a largely trouble-free winter, having reliably featured among the frontrunners in testing at both Sepang and Buriram.

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Tech3 will continue to compete in the Moto2 class as well as MotoGP, and will announce their plans for 2019 at a later date. Although never able to win a race on their second tier Yamahas, the squad earned a reputation as one of the leading independent teams and scored a best result of second at the 2013 German Grand Prix, with Cal Crutchlow riding.