When shedding light on his current rider’s working methods, Guy Coulon recognised the similarities between two of MotoGP’s more recent sensations, Johann Zarco and Andrea Dovizioso.

Along with establishing the long-running, successful Tech 3 squad in 1989, Frenchman Coulon has worked with an array of top names since the team moved to the premier class in 2001, including Dovizioso in the Italian’s sole year with Yamaha machinery in ‘12.

Coulon played a key role in Zarco’s stunning debut season in MotoGP, a year in which the double Moto2 world champion scored two pole positions and three podiums, while regularly proving to be a thorn in the side of his factory-backed peers.

The experienced crew chief revealed his rider’s thoroughness when negotiating his way through their plans for a race weekend. Each of Coulon’s commands or plans is carried out to its fullest, a trait he experienced with Dovizioso in the past.

“He [Zarco] is very clear when he explains his bike’s feelings,” Coulon told Crash.net. “We prepare a plan before each session. It depends on the track. Mainly we decide on three runs or two runs, because some tracks with longer lap times we like better with less runs.

“We decide in advance, ‘This amount of runs.’ Then after we change bikes and try something different for the second run. He respects this plan. Even if the bike is not perfect, he keeps going to the end of run to understand if it is a comfortable problem.

“Even with this feeling which is not so perfect, he can get a lap time. If we decided for seven laps, he does seven laps. And for the run after, if we decide for five laps, he goes for fives laps.

“And in the last run, if we decide for four laps he goes for four laps. This is quite important because some riders you ask for seven laps. After two laps they come back, stop and [say] ‘I don’t like it!’ [I think] ‘You don’t like it after two laps, yes. But maybe after four laps you can understand whether your tyre life is better, or whether your lap time is coming better.’ Finally we never know.

“We had a very similar situation with Dovi in 2012. Dovi and Johann have a very similar kind of mind.”

Touching on Zarco’s sincerity when admitting to not necessarily possessing the greatest speed or level of talent in the field, Coulon explained this was a mindset his rider had possessed in Moto2. How he attempted to ‘control’ those around him was crucial when navigating his way to back-to-back championships.

“About this point, he’s a bit different,” says Coulon. “He also has very good experience with Moto2. He knew from Moto2, and he told me, ‘Sometimes I feel that other riders are faster than me but my understanding was to control them from the beginning of the race.

“’If they pass me, I’ll try and pass them back immediately. And I’ll try to control them. At the end of the race, I’ll try to push and to beat them.’

“He knows that if you cannot control faster riders at the beginning of the race, you cannot control them at the end. So you need to understand that and to manage this situation. It’s quite easy to say! And another thing to do it properly.”


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment

They should've added a picture of Guy. He's the guy who makes Grateful Dead members green with envy about his hairstyle.

I'm a fan of Tech3, Guy and Herve, how could you not be, they are a brilliant professional team. It'll be a sad day he loses the Yammy contract to Rossi, hopefully Suzuki supply the silver lining to that black cloud

worth while youtubing Guy, wonderful collection of bikes and nothing in this world sounds like  his own build 6 cylinder bike 

Herve is one of the nicest most genuine people in the paddock, he never has a bad word to say about anyone & keeps his opinions to himself. During the testing at Valencia he gave an on air interview, where he was asked yet again about what his & Tech 3's future was once Rossi retired, Herve did not mince his words, he's stated that he was sick of being asked this & everyone thinking that Rossi would just walk in & take the two satelite M1's. Herve said that no-one is bigger than MotoGp & that he had a standing contract with Yamaha & Dorna which would over-ride any of Rossi's plans.

I love watching Zarco on track and the deceptive innocent look he has off track.  He's a devil on two wheels.  More talented and tactical than man many and very humble too.

Sounds like he and Tech3 have a winning formula.  This is one kid who's adapted quickly to the bigger prototype bikes and someone who could show even more potential in 2018.  I hope he's able to snag more than one victory next season.  He came so close on lesser equipment.  He's due.

After seeing Zarco display his racecraft in Moto2, I was eager to see Johann in MotoGP.  Holeshot and pulling away in his debut race, wow.  Special talent.

Got a lot of respect for this team especially Herve and Guy, what they don't know about man management and getting the best from limited engineering resources probably isn't worth knowing.....