Tech3 to split with Yamaha after the 2018 MotoGP 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.

MotoGP privateers - Tech 3 - will end their association with Yamaha after the 2018 season concludes. "Following three very interesting and great days of testing in Buriram, where I learned a lot, I want to thank my crew again, especially Nico and Maxime, but also Johann and Laurent for their advices", Hafizh said.

MotoGP team Tech3 have announced they will not be using Yamaha engines from next season.

"Clearly, to end that kind of partnership is a big decision for me".

Tech3 made the revelation, with boss Herve Poncheral stating that they would be ending their 20 year arrangement with the Japanese manufacturer in order to take up "a deal that we've been waiting for nearly since we started Tech3".

Tech3's future in Yamaha has been in question for some time, with Poncheral confirming during the Valencia test that Yamaha would withdraw its support once Valentino Rossi brought his team into the premier class.

"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.

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"The end of such a successful partnership is always a bit sad, as it also marks the end of a long-term relationship".

Yamaha's Kouichi Tsuji said the company "regretfully" accepted the decision, and would give Tech3 its "full support" for the rest of the season. "Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin will be fighting for top positions and without a doubt, Yamaha can count on us to be a loyal performance partner".

Syahrin had his first outing on the Monster Yamaha Tech3 YZR-M1 during the three-day test last week at Thailand's Chang International Circuit, the 23-year-old roughly two seconds off the pace.

Dorna has been pushing for each factory to supply at least one satellite team and a Tech3-KTM tie-up would leave only Suzuki and Aprilia without a customer project, assuming Yamaha finds a replacement. A Tech3 rider has won the Rookie of the Year award on five occasions, with Johan Zarco picking up the accolade in 2017.

Vinales, who finished third overall in 2017, said the factory Yamaha team needed to improve in all areas with rivals Honda and Ducati setting the pace so far in 2018 after also battling for the title a year ago. Honestly I can't wait for the season to start.

Tech3 will continue to compete in the Moto2 class as well as MotoGP, and will announce their plans for 2019 at a later date.