Monster Yamaha Tech3
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 Hervé Poncharal and colleagues which began its 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 team-mate Shinya Nakano at Phillip Island in 2000 with the Tech3 team thrilling fans worldwide with one of the closest finishes to a title fight 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.
Nakano scored Tech3 its first MotoGP podium in Germany in 2001. Since then, some of the biggest talents in racing have successfully spent time riding for Tech3, including Norick Abe, Carlos Checa, Alex Barros, Marco Melandri, Colin Edwards, Ben Spies, Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso.
Now an integral part of Yamaha’s hugely successful MotoGP effort, Tech3 has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years. Edwards scored four top three finishes during his spell with Tech3. Whereas Spies enjoyed a fantastic rookie campaign in 2010, to claim a stunning debut MotoGP podium at Silverstone and a brilliant pole position and second place in his home race in Indianapolis.
Spies’ natural talent and the experience and dedication of the Tech3 Yamaha Team ensured the Texan quickly earned a coveted seat in Yamaha’s Factory MotoGP squad for the 2011 world championship campaign.
2012 was a superb year for Monster Yamaha Tech3 in the premier class. The team confirmed its status as the leading independent team in the coveted Team World Championship, having seen at least one rider on the podium in nearly 50% of the races in 2012.
Andrea Dovizioso asserted himself as the team’s most successful rider ever, scoring six podium finishes in the 2012 season. British rider Cal Crutchlow scored two podium finishes in his second season in the premier class and both Tech3 Yamaha Team riders emerged as constant top five challengers.
2013 saw Cal Crutchlow joined at Monster Yamaha Tech3 by the exciting young talent of Tech3 Racing Team’s Moto2 front runner, Bradley Smith. Crutchlow produced two sensational pole positions and four podium finishes. The 2009 World Supersport rider finished fifth in the world championship, and the leading satellite rider in the MotoGP class. Bradley Smith contested his successful rookie campaign with three top six finishes and a 10th place in the MotoGP World Championship. 2013 also saw Monster Yamaha Tech3 finish as the third team in the World Championship for the second year in a row.
The Tech3 team continued its long term, successful partnership with Yamaha and Monster Energy in 2014, fielding the exciting line up of British rider Bradley Smith, and the Spanish 2013 Moto2 World Champion, Pol Espargaró. The team mates had an eventful season and finished in sixth and eighth place in the championship respectively. The same line-up continued in 2016, with Espargaró again claiming eighth in the championship but Smith slipping right down the standings after missing a chunk of the season through injury.
2017 saw an all new line up for the Monster Tech3 Yamaha squad with two top quality Moto2 graduates in Germany?’s Jonas Folger and the French double world champion Johann Zarco. The duo pulled out all the stops and comfortably placed themselves as the top independent team, with Johann Zarco taking the much coveted Rookie of the Year title on top. Unfortunately Jonas Folger was forced to pull out of the 2018 season due to a prolonged period of illness, requiring him to focus on rest and rehabilitation.