The French-based Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team is one of the most experienced teams competing in the MotoGP world championship, with its proud history dating as far back as 1989.
Located in Provence in southern France, the team was formed by Herve Poncharal and colleagues who began their Grand Prix adventure by contesting in the 250cc World Championship with Dominique Sarron. In 1993, Tech3 ran the American rider John Kocinski in the 250cc series, before signing emerging French talent Olivier Jacque, two years later.
It was to be a partnership that elevated Tech3 and Jacque’s profile to a new level. The French rider won a dramatic 250cc title in the season finale against teammate Shinya Nakano at Phillip Island in 2000 – with the Tech3 Team thrilling fans worldwide with one of the closest finishes to the title, ever to occur in history.
A year later in 2001, Tech3 further enhanced its growing reputation by joining the MotoGP class, starting a long and successful collaboration with Yamaha in the premier series.
The introduction of the Moto2 class in 2010, saw the 250cc two-stroke class replaced by 600cc four-stroke class, which the Tech3 Racing Team entered and wrote a new chapter in the history pages.
The 600cc motorbikes use a controlled Honda engine, which can produce over 140 BHP, and Dunlop provides the tyres which are set for all entrants. The chassis can be modified as much as possible in accordance with the FIM regulations.
Since the introduction of the Moto2 class in 2010, the Tech3 Racing Team has exclusively designed, manufactured and modified its own chassis, which is named the ‘Mistral 610’. This feat is unprecedented with the French squad the only team in the MotoGP paddock who design their own chassis in the intermediate class, in conjunction with running the highly successful Monster Yamaha Tech3 MotoGP team.
Six seasons since the team’s entry in the ultra-competitive class has seen credible riders aboard the Mistral 610. In 2010, Yuki Takahashi and Raffaele De Rosa campaigned the inaugural year of the Moto2 class, with Takahashi taking a superbly executed win at Catalunya as well as a 2nd place finish at Brno and three front row starts.
2011 saw Bradley Smith join the Tech3 Racing Moto2 Team, along with French rider Mike Di Meglio as well as young Belgian Xavier Simeon who competed for the Tech3 B Team. Smith brought the team continued success with three podiums in his rookie season, which included the personal highlight of finishing his home Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2nd after qualifying in 28th on the grid.
The following season saw Bradley Smith and Xavier Simeon continue with the Tech 3 Racing Team and in 2013 the young British talent of Danny Kent and French rider Louis Rossi, both Moto3 front runners, linked up with the French team for their rookie Moto2 seasons.
In 2014, the Tech3 Racing Team joined forces with Marcel Schrotter and Ricky Cardus, who replaced the injured Alex Mariñelarena. The team continued their hard work with the exclusively designed and built Mistral 610 which saw Schrotter clinch a strong result of 10th in the championship standings, whilst Ricky Cardus produced a best finish of 7th in Catalunya and also memorably ran at the top end of the field in Misano.
The team began 2015 with Schrotter and Cardus, with Louis Rossi using the Mistral 610 chassis for the Tasca Racing Scuderia Team. Yet Tech3 and Cardus came to a decision halfway through the season that saw the Spanish rider depart and Xavi Vierge came in as his replacement. Schrotter battled through the year with a best finish of 9th, whilst Vierge used the opportunity to gather as much information as possible. Despite the fact that he had never visited most of the tracks in the second half of the season, he just missed out on several point-scoring finishes, which marked his potential.
In 2016, Vierge contested his first full season in the intermediate class and was joined by Isaac Viñales, who stepped up from Moto3 and both riders rode the Mistral 610 with KYB suspension. Tech3, KYB and Vierge worked relentlessly and the Spanish rider went on to produce a series of highly impressive performances as he progressed throughout the year before superbly clinching the Rookie of the Year honours at the final round showdown.
Vierge will remain with the Tech3 Racing team for the 2017 season and will be joined by the exciting Australian talent of Remy Gardner. After the positive end to last season, Vierge has his sights set on challenging for results inside the top ten whilst Gardner will be aiming to fight for the Rookie of the Year title.