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Poncharal on team management and the future of MotoGP™

Poncharal on team management and the future of MotoGP™

Herve Poncharal has been interviewed at length by French magazine OffBikes, regarding his role as Team Manager of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 and his thoughts on the future of MotoGP™.

In the latest of a series of interviews by the publication on team management in the World Championship, Poncharal explains what his role entails and also goes on to cover some of implications of significant regulation updates which will come into play in MotoGP in 2016.

Poncharal comments, “These days being a Team Manager in MotoGP, Moto2 or Moto3 is like being the conductor of an orchestra. In MotoGP the role means you have to do more than in the other categories, but throughout the classes the Team Manager is the overall boss.”

“The job title of Team Manager can mean everything and nothing! In a factory team the Team Manager is employed by the manufacturer to run the team. Whereas, in my case I am the director and the owner of my team, which is principally a business concern.”

“If we look at the way Yamaha is set up in MotoGP, there are two official factory riders and two satellite riders. In the factory team working with Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo all the staff are employed by Yamaha Japan. In Tech 3 we also run Yamaha M1 machines, but the bikes are by a private company, which belongs to me. My job is to find the budget, choose the riders and close the deals necessary for running the team.”

Asked about ongoing regulation updates and the future of MotoGP from 2016 and beyond - when the official tyre supplier to the premier class changes and the use of universal ECU software will come into effect - Poncharal gave his perspective on the developments.

He stated, “There are two ways of looking at it. If I think about it only from our perspective, I would say that last year it was easier. We were behind the four factory bikes, the two Yamahas and the two Hondas, and we could get onto the podium when the chance came. Now it’s harder because Aleix Espargaro and the Ducatis are up there and there are a number of factors, such as the tyre restrictions, which mean we are back in fifth to ninth position. When (Andrea) Dovizioso puts on a softer tyre and the pendulum swings in his favour I think, ‘well that was tough for us’.”

“But also from a team perspective, I want the championship to work well. I want it to be interesting and for the fans to come. If the fans are there we can get more sponsors. So you have to look at the wider picture.”

The Frenchman continued, “It's good to have provided an opportunity for teams and less successful manufacturers to balance out their disadvantages, and it's nice to think that after 2016, the situation will be more even technically. Everyone will be on a more level playing field, and at a lower cost.”

“Currently, most of the investment of the factory teams goes on electronics. So if a standard ECU is imposed development opportunities are reduced, it will be open to everyone and ‘frozen’ (without the possibility of making updates) during the season. This should allow all teams to reduce their costs, and for private teams like ours to have the equivalent of official team material. So, to be attractive to a sponsor, for the teams it will be about the riders. Satellite teams could be fighting for victories, something unimaginable today, as we started the current season knowing that an official Yamaha rider or an official Honda rider would be the World Champion at the end of the year.”

Interview courtesy of OffBikes

MotoGP, 2014, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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