Tech 3 Yamaha A Certainty For 2008
Herv&eactue; Poncharal, team principal of Tech 3 Yamaha, today announced that the team had secured an agreement with Yamaha to run two Yamaha M1 bikes in 2008. The announcement had been widely expected, but has come very early on in the season. It seems that a lot of teams are busy trying to wrap up next year's line up early, so that they can concentrate on going out and securing sponsorship. It seems that the sponsorship conference held in Barcelona in April is starting to pay off dividends already (more details about some of the changes being made in Mike Nick's column over on crash.net).
There's a lot of speculation surrounding the Tech 3 team next year. Part of it concerns tires, with Poncharal believed to be keen to obtain more money, to be able to afford better rubber, in order to obtain a top flight rider. There is some suggestion that 250 world champion Jorge Lorenzo may go to Tech 3 Yamaha, and be provided with factory equipment. Valentino Rossi is said to be deeply opposed to sharing a garage with the Spaniard, whose behavior might most charitably be described as "flamboyant" and his manager Dani Amatriain, generally regarded as the equal of Alberto Puig in terms of ruthlessness. But Yamaha is determined to sign Lorenzo, who they see as their replacement for Rossi once the Italian retires to race in WRC. A factory bike at Tech 3 would be a way out of the impasse.
No such problems for Sylvain Guintoli. The young Frenchman has impressed everyone so far this year, regularly beating his team mate, the vastly more experienced Makoto Tamada. Guintoli looks certain to keep his seat in the French team for 2008.