Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal said the main reason for leaving Yamaha at the end of the 2018 MotoGP season was the manufacturer not giving factory support to Johann Zarco.
After an impressive rookie season from Johann Zarco, who ended 2017 with two podiums and sixth in the standings, Tech 3 hoped Yamaha would make the Frenchman part of the factory effort.
However, Zarco was not given the latest-spec YZR-M1 for 2018 as he started testing with last year's bike and then eventually reverted to the 2016 version.
"End of last year, the last two grand prix, Johann was twice in a row on the podium, wet podium in Malaysia, dry podium in Valencia almost a win in Valencia," said Poncharal of Zarco, who ended the 2018 pre-season testing on top in Qatar.
"Everybody was expecting maybe something a bit special coming from Yamaha to support Johann like HRC doing with Cal [Crutchlow] or Ducati doing with Danilo Petrucci.
"It didn't come, although we proved it tonight in Doha that the support and the bike we have from Yamaha is an incredible support and good enough anyway to be on top of the timesheets.
"But anyway there were many things that as a satellite operation you always want a bit more, you always want to be a bit closer to the factory guys.
"Sure the new technical rules helped all the satellite operations to be closer to the top but you always want to have that last bit.
"Also I think at one stage of your career, your life, you don't want to feel a bit too much comfort zone.
"We had an incredible comfort zone with Yamaha we are happy, everything was clear, we knew almost everybody inside the company but sometimes it is good to have a fresh challenge.
"I don't want to say we were asleep but something that wakes you up and gives you makes you feel 10 years younger."
Full factory support from new manufacturer
Poncharal confirmed that Tech 3 signed a three-year deal with its new manufacturer and that both of the team's bikes will get full factory support.
"We will have a three-year deal, '19 to '21. Each single year there will be four bikes on the grid with exactly the same spec, the factory team and the Tech 3 operation.
"This will be helping us to look for results, also it's part of the development and even though you have a good bike like the one Johann Zarco is having now, it is a bike that doesn't have any evolution for the whole year."
Poncharal dropped a strong hint that the manufacturer in question was KTM, saying Tech 3 would act as a junior team for its new partner and that said partner is involved in Moto2 and Moto3.
"We always tried to be the official Yamaha junior team but it was never really the case, that will be the case where we'll be going.
"That manufacturer is involved in Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP so there will be a clear path for having young riders from the first day they join the MotoGP championship."
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