Having given an insight into Tech 3's Moto2 project (see previous story), Herve Poncharal then discussed his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 MotoGP team - including the future of riders Colin Edwards
and James Toseland.
Finally Poncharal, who is also president of IRTA, spoke about how engine leasing could change the premier-class...
I believe that Colin Edwards
now has an offer from you for 2010?
Colin was told, and I was told, at Indy by Furusawa that Yamaha has been supporting his contract and salary - a 'soft landing' they call it - for two years, 2008 and 2009.
But because of the economic environment at the moment, especially for motorcycle makers, Yamaha have made it very clear that they cannot do that any more. That is very understandable and we are an independent team so my riders should talk to me [about contracts].
Anyway, Colin is a priority, he is Yamaha's number one choice for my bike and I made him an offer. It is now up to him to study it and come back to me.
In Misano it was quite positive and I think it is very likely we can do another year together.
On the other bike the mystery is as thick as ever and I would prefer to wait a little bit before talking about the other bike because a lot of things are linked to that bike. It can be a lot of people on that bike.
In the past I think you've had, in terms of contracts, a 'Yamaha rider' on one bike and a 'Tech 3 rider' on the other bike, is that now changing?
That was the situation in the past, but it is not 100 percent sure that that situation will continue in 2010.
I am just waiting a bit. We work quite closely with Yamaha and we are trying to see what is the best possibility.
I also work with Carmelo [Ezpeleta, Dorna]. I am a Yamaha MotoGP team, so I am very close to Yamaha, but I also have to talk and work with Carmelo to see what is best for the championship.
All together Yamaha, Tech 3 and Dorna are trying to see what is best for the championship and what is best for Tech 3.
Is there any chance of Ben Spies being on the bike next year?
That is a question I absolutely cannot answer! I would like to, but I have got no relationship with Ben. Ben has signed a contract with Yamaha Japan for the next two seasons. This we know for sure and on the release we saw 2010 Superbike and 2011 MotoGP. I guess there is a small theoretical possibility he could be here if the second seat is still open, but that would be a decision for Yamaha and Ben together. Not me.
It has been difficult for James...
It won't be easy for next year. This year was difficult for him, difficult for us. Disappointing for him, disappointing for us. Race after race. I thought Brno would be better, it was not better. I thought Indy would be better, it was not really better.