A Blast From The Past Part 6: When I Was Young…
Hervé Poncharal shows us some insights of the history of Tech3 Racing, which is celebrating season number 30 of World Championship competition in 2020.
The first difference between 30 years ago and today is that I was 30 years younger. Back then, I was better looking, I was stronger, I could cope more easily with traveling, not sleeping a lot and for me it seemed that life was forever, no limits. 30 years later, you know there is a limit, you realize that you have more years behind than probably ahead of you, although I still enjoy it a lot, but in a different way. 30 years ago, I was very close to the riders, I felt like their brother and now I almost feel like their grandfather. When I talk with Deniz Öncü, who is 16 years old, this really gets close. I’m older than his dad! So, this is the first point, but a joke, obviously.
The main thing is – which I was fighting for a lot together with IRTA and Dorna helped us tremendously – the race tracks are so much safer. What you hate is your rider or any rider having an accident and injuring themselves on a dangerous track. It took a lot of work to improve all the equipment, the leathers, the helmet and everything. The paddock is now completely different. Before it was more like camping, everybody was coming and organizing almost the way they want. There were a lot less vehicles, the atmosphere was less professional and way more rock’n roll – an expression I always use. Now everything is much more organized, much more professional. We have a very efficient paddock organization.
Technically the bikes have a lot more electronic, so the way you are dealing with your riders and in between the crew and the riders is much more based on what you can read through all the electronic, all the sensors. There were almost no computers 30 years ago, so clearly, the way everybody is working, is different, more professional and accurate. The media center now is also an incredible tool. All this makes a different world. What is now our world, is what I was dreaming of 30 years ago.
But still, you can’t help yourself – and I think every human being is the same – when you are 63 years old like me when you think about what was 30 years before. Every single human being has nostalgy, but I am very proud to have seen the evolution of our sport, our paddock, organization, the incredible improvement in safety and also the difference is, that you travel a lot more. 30 years ago, you had a few races overseas, but it was mainly in Europe. Now this is a proper World Championship, with a lot more traveling outside of Europe. We are now a more global sport, a proper WORLD Championship, where before we had that same title, but it was much more European based. These are the main differences.