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Team Gauloises Tech3 are preparing for a difficult season according to boss Hervé Poncharal

Team Gauloises Tech3 are preparing for a difficult season according to boss Hervé Poncharal

After completing its first season in the elite class in 2001, the Yamaha Gauloises Tech3 team is currently preparing for its first off-season tests, which will take place on January 28 and 29 at the Jerez circuit, alongside the official Marlboro Yamaha Team and the other satellite team, Repsol d´Antin Yamaha. The whole team will then partake in tests at Almeria from January 31st to February 1st and from 5th to 7th of March, as well as joining in all of the official tests organised by IRTA: Valencia, Estoril, Catalunya and Suzuka.

Olivier Jacque and Shinya Nakano will take part in the 2002 MotoGP World Championship on a two-stroke machine, to the regret of Team Manager Hervé Poncharal, who would have liked to have seen them run the two riders on four-strokes this year.

´I have been completely in favour of the introduction of four-strokes ever since its conception, but I thought that we would have all been able to benefit from the same material from the first year. Having seen the efforts being put into the four-strokes, there is a strong chance that these bikes are going to be very competitive indeed.´

Hervé Poncharal is worried that the difference between the two- and four-strokes will put the 500cc teams at a disadvantage.

´If the four-strokes are quicker, how do you explain to your sponsors that you aren´t challenging for the title, but for being the best of one type of machine. If our partners invest in this competition, it is to win it.´

Despite a season which looks like it may be difficult, the team which won the 250 World Championship in 2001 are keeping their heads up, and are now looking to improve their machine´s performance.

´Olivier and Shinya are often complaining about the front of their bikes, and we think that we can resolve this problem by working more on tyres. Until this year, the riders did not have tyres designed specifically for them. During our pre-season tests, we are going to focus with Michelin on getting tyre set-up adapted to Olivier and Shinya´s riding styles. Then we will work on the setting-up of the chassis, and following that we will be working on another project, which I can´t tell you about at the moment, but which should be released shortly.´

500cc, 2001

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