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Bombshell: Yamaha And Tech3 To Part Ways For 2019 - Who Takes Yamahas, Who Supplies Tech3?

If you thought the 2019 MotoGP Silly Season was already in high gear, a bombshell announcement has just put it into overdrive. Today, the Monster Tech3 Yamaha team announced that from 2019, they will be parting ways. Tech3 will no longer be a satellite Yamaha team.

The split brings to an end an association of nearly 20 years with Yamaha. They first started in 1999 with Shinya Nakano and Olivier Jacque in 250cc, before switching to the premier class with the same pair in 2001. Tech3 have been a loyal partner for many years, giving up one seat to a factory-backed rider on a number of occasions, as occurred with Ben Spies, Colin Edwards, and Pol Espargaro.

However, there had been a few signs of tension over the past few months. Although Hervé Poncharal remained ever the gentleman when talking about Yamaha, toeing the company line, there were occasional hints of frustration in his response to questions, though never anything explicit. With Tech3 having been given a better offer from a different manufacturer - as the press release states - that made it easier to end the association with Yamaha.

That huge piece of news opens up a whole range of questions. Who will be supplying Tech3 with MotoGP bikes next year? Will Yamaha have a satellite team in 2019? And does this open the door to the VR46 team to make their entry into MotoGP? 

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Pecco Bagnaia To Move To MotoGP In 2019 With Pramac Ducati

Pecco Bagnaia is to move up to MotoGP with the Pramac Ducati team in 2019 and 2020. The news was announced on Twitter by the SkyVR46 team, and confirmed by Bagnaia himself on his Twitter feed.

The move is not a surprise. Bagnaia had been widely tipped to move to MotoGP with Ducati, with Paolo Ciabatti admitting at the launch back in January that the Italian factory had an interest in the 21 year old. 

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Press Release: Hafizh Syahrin Confirmed As Second Monster Tech 3 Yamaha Rider For 2018 Season

Hafizh Syahrin will contest the 2018 MotoGP season for the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team alongside Johann Zarco. The Tech 3 team today confirmed that the Malaysian rider will take the place of Jonas Folger, who has decided to sit out the season due to illness. 

The press release from Tech 3 appears below:


Monster Yamaha Tech3 to compete the 2018 MotoGP season with Hafizh Syahrin

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Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - What's going on at Yamaha?

The factory team seems in disarray, so could Johann Zarco be Yamaha’s greatest hope for this year’s MotoGP crown?

The Movistar Yamaha team seems to be digging itself an ever-deeper hole. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi completed the second tests of the year in eighth and 12th positions. Their lap times weren’t a disaster, but more worryingly, both riders were confused by their inability to get closer to the front, which is always a bad sign.

On Sunday evening Viñales seemed so lost that it was hard not to feel a bit sorry for him.

“By a long way this is the worst test,” he said. “Even Sepang, that was the worst one since I’ve been at Yamaha, then today it’s even worse. I don't know… Honestly, I don’t know. We are struggling as a factory team, so I don’t know. I don’t know what to say. It’s difficult… We are missing a little bit in all areas. I’ve used different chassis, different engines, different electronics, but there is no solution, so I don't know. Honestly, I don't know... Maybe it’s better to ask Yamaha…”

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2018 Phillip Island World Superbike Tuesday Test Times: Rea Leads The Way Once Again

Reigning WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea returned to the top of the timesheets on the second day of the test at Phillip Island on Tuesday. Despite a small crash in the morning, Rea took a commanding lead over his Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes, who was two tenths slower than Rea.

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2018 Phillip Island World Supersport Tuesday Test Times: Krummenacher Leads Yamaha Clean Sweep

Randy Krummenacher leads a clean sweep of the Phillip Island World Supersport test for Yamaha. After a difficult year in WorldSBK, the Swiss rider has got his step back to the WorldSSP class off to a strong start, beating both the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP riders. Lucas Mahias took second, ahead of his teammate Federico Caricasulo. Newcomer Sandro Cortese got his WorldSSP career off to a strong start, ending the test in fourth on the Kallio Racing Yamaha R6.

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2018 Phillip Island World Superbike Monday Test Times: Melandri Takes Charge As Rea Takes A Tumble

Marco Melandri has struck the first blow on the opening day of a two-day test for the WorldSBK class at Phillip Island. The Aruba.it Ducati rider was over a third of a second quicker than second place man Tom Sykes on the factory Kawasaki. In turn, Sykes was two tenths faster than his teammate, reigning WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea.

The Kawasaki men both suffered crashes at Turn 11, with Rea having a very large highside which persuaded him to skip the second session on Monday afternoon. His time in the first session was good enough to keep his third place.

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