A Blast From The Past Part 5: Super Talents
Hervé Poncharal shows us some insights of the history of Tech3 Racing, which is celebrating season number 30 of World Championship competition in 2020.
In the 250cc era Olivier Jacque was outstanding and he was fast from day one. He was called ‘Jack-Attack’ and is for sure one of the special riders of our history. He spent nine seasons with us, we won the Championship and we had some great memories, also a lot of good moments to share, a lot of good laughs. Clearly, for a French team to be World Champion with a French rider helped a lot to grow MotoGP in France.
I think, I would also like to talk about Andrea Dovizioso, although he did just one year with us, 2012. He was coming from the Repsol Honda Factory Team and he came to us with a very humble attitude. But he is a rider, which I would call truly complete rider. I mean he is very fast, he can build a racing strategy, but he is also so sensitive and clever to understand the technical side and how to set up the bike. He understands everything and maybe he is the most complete rider, we ever worked with. He has talent, plus cleverness, plus humility, plus working non-stop. He was an example and also a good friend. Although he already was a big name, he was always like a friend of all of us, helping us, always being polite. He is a genuine nice guy.
But, in terms of talent, I would also like to talk about Ben Spies. Because when he arrived for his rookie season in MotoGP after having won the Superbike World Championship, it’s sometimes difficult for riders to switch from Superbike to MotoGP and what he was doing on the bike, was just unbelievable. We did some podiums with him, some pole positions, especially in Indianapolis. Very often, he finished on the podium and was second, super close to the winner, like in Indy. That was an incredible talent, as well.
And very recently, I think 2017 was an amazing season, because our two guys, Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger were coming from Moto2 and during the winter tests, as soon as they jumped on a MotoGP bike – although they didn’t have any experience – we could see that they were so fast, so talented. Through the winter, we thought ‘Ok, it’s only the winter tests, maybe it will be another story for the races.’ But then Johann was leading the first race in Qatar until he crashed and then pole position for his rookie season, podium for his rookie season, very, very close to win races. I also don’t want to forget about Jonas, because he was very close to Johann.
I will - of course - never forget the Sachsenring race, Jonas did, ending up second, fighting with Marc Marquez until the end on a circuit, where Yamaha normally doesn’t perform very well. That was a great emotion for me, I was so pleased to give him that opportunity to show his talent and of course 2017 and 2018, to Johann as well. We didn’t expect these two guys to perform the way they did and then the feeling is always even sweeter, when nobody is expecting you to do this kind of results. That was coming out of the blue with two rookies. We were fighting for the top rookie spot, for the best independent team honors, we won these challenges and championships. To share this with young guys, when it’s not really planned, because you are already in advance to the plan, this is an incredible moment and what I like most in racing. These are the great emotions, I have been living.