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Poncharal encouraged by French promise

Poncharal encouraged by French promise

Poncharal encouraged by French promise

With Olivier Jacque having taken a break from his motorcycle racing career, the MotoGP World Championship arrives in France this weekend without a local favourite for the home crowd to cheer but with the former 250cc World Champion's old team still going strong.

Fortuna Gauloises Tech3 Team Manager Hervé Poncharal, now in charge of Marco Melandri and Norick Abe, says he expects the crowd to get behind his riders despite the absence of a Frenchman in the premier-class, and insists there is no need for the home fans to panic as they look for a new hero to worship in the absence of their beloved ‘OJ'.

"For sure the French GP will be a place where we have a lot of support, it doesn't matter whether we have a French rider or not," declared Poncharal in our exclusive video interview, which you can watch in full by clicking the link at the top of the page.

"Last year, Alex Barros got his only podium in France, and we will want and try to do everything we can to please the French crowd, no matter if we have a French rider or not. I'm sure a lot of them are going to be supporting us."

"Randy de Puniet is leading the 250 championship, I think Sylvain Guintoli on the right machine should be up there also. We are also very impressed by what Mike di Meglio has done. I am sure that out of those three names, in the next two or three years we will have a good Frenchman in the MotoGP class."

MotoGP, 2004

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