A Year Of Change For Yamaha
It’s almost time for the 2018 Qatar MotoGP championship and it appears as if some change this way comes relating to Yamaha’s involvement in MotoGP. It was recently announced that the 2018 season will be Yamaha’s final year of partnership with team TECH3. Team TECH3 has been powered by Yamaha technology since 2001 and it seems as if 2018 is officially the end of the road for the stellar partnership. No announcement has been made as of yet as to who the replacement manufacturing partner will be.
Herve Poncharal was willing to reveal that the team had been made an offer that they could not refuse, obviously by a manufacturer other than Yamaha. He did say that it was the kind of opportunity and offer that TECH3 has been waiting for ever since the team was established.
Yamaha president Kouichi Tsuji seemed remorseful following the announcement, saying that the regretted the announcement and decision made by TECH3. Tsuji said that it was always a sad occasion when a partnership ended, especially when it encompassed a long and successful relationship. He said that team TECH3 would be enjoying Yamaha’s full support for the duration of the 2018 season and that in the meantime, Yamaha would be considering its options relating to a replacement team going forward.
A First For Malaysia
Meanwhile, Malaysia will this year have its very first participant in MotoGP ever. TECH3 Yamaha has signed and locked in Hafizh Syahrin for the duration of the 2018 MotoGP season. The 23 year old recent Moto2 graduate will replace Jonas Folger due to Folger having had to withdraw from the competition due to health reasons.
Speaking to the press, Syahrin reported feeling excited ahead of Qatar, saying that it was an honour to have been selected to race for team TECH3. Syahrin was selected after having recently made his debut on a MotoGP bike in Thailand. He made a lasting impression on TECH3 team boss Herve Poncharal with the manner in which he improved overall race times during the scope of 3 consecutive days.
Poncharal said that the weekend in Thailand was in fact equal to a baptism of fire, with Syahrin having had to prove himself worthy of competing in the colours of team TECH3 Yamaha. He also said that in the end, the team members and management reached a unanimous decision that they were happy to welcome the youngster to the team and that he had performed brilliantly and well above expectation.
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