Beating factory Yamahas "uncomfortable", admits Tech 3

Herve Poncharal, the boss of Yamaha's MotoGP satellite outfit Tech 3, has admitted his team beating the factory bikes on several occasions this season created some "uncomfortable" situations.

Works riders Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi both endured a frustrating 2017 campaign, while rookie Johann Zarco shone on Tech 3's year-old machine.

The Frenchman managed to beat both Vinales and Rossi six times across the course of the year, while teammate Jonas Folger managed to do so twice.

Poncharal said the team didn't imagine Zarco's season "even in our wildest dreams", but also admitted that showing up the factory squad made for some awkward moments.

"Sometimes it was a bit uncomfortable for me to be in front of them," Poncharal said.

"I could see some faces getting a bit longer, we didn't always get a lot of handshakes or smiles after the race but I understand.

"We were here with two rookie riders to let them understand and learn the class, and they were here to win the championship and that didn't happen for various reasons.

"The fact we did what we did with that [year-old] bike, pushing Yamaha engineers and two factory riders, maybe they went in a wrong direction."

Tech 3 shouldn't beat factory team

Despite Tech 3's strong season, Poncharal underlined that competing with the factory Yamaha team is not "where we're supposed to be", and that the priority is to help the Japanese marque win the title.

"There are four M1s on track, altogether we need to be giving as much valuable information [as possible] to the factory in order for them to fight for the championship," he added.

"Always the factory team will be first. We are a Yamaha team, this the 20th consecutive season with them, I know them well, I respect them a lot.

"If we ever achieve the result [we did], it is because we have for sure a great rider, a good team and crew, but also we have a good bike.

"So I have to thank Yamaha the way they have been supporting us."

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Teams Tech 3 , Yamaha Factory Racing
Article type Breaking news
Tags herve-poncharal