It has been officially announced that Monster Energy will become title sponsor of the Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP team for at least the next two seasons.
Former double World Superbike champions Colin Edwards and James Toseland, who continue as the team's riders in 2009, will thus ride with their YZR-M1s bearing the famous M-Claw logo - as has been rumoured for some time.
Under the guidance of Hervé Poncharal, the Tech 3 outfit took two podiums and a further 11 top-six finishes to be MotoGP's top independent outfit in 2008, with fourth overall in the teams' world championship.
Meanwhile, Monster Energy made its MotoGP team sponsorship debut as one of Kawasaki's biggest sponsors in 2008 and - following the factory withdraw of Team Green - recently sealed a personal sponsorship deal with reigning six time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi.
“Both Colin and James have built huge followings throughout their careers and they are extremely popular riders, so Monster Energy is pleased to become part of their continued efforts through our partnership with the Tech 3 Yamaha team for the upcoming '09 MotoGP season,” said Monster Energy president, Mark Hall.
“Tech 3 has a highly successful track record as one of MotoGP's premier teams and will provide a solid platform for Monster Energy as we continue to develop our brand image globally.”
Head of the Tech 3 team since its conception in 1989, and having taken the team to world championship success in the 250GP class in 2000, Poncharal admitted the new deal has excited the whole squad.
“It's great to be linked with a growing brand such as Monster Energy, which has such a strong image and a big profile,” said Poncharal, whose team had no title sponsor last season. “Monster are very keen to support MotoGP and I'm sure that our partnership will prove to be very successful. The 2009 Yamaha package with the Bridgestone tyres has looked extremely promising in pre-season tests so far. Our aims are to go even better than in 2008, and thanks to this agreement we are highly motivated to do so.”
'Monster Yamaha Tech 3', as the team will now be known, is currently testing alongside its 2009 rivals at Qatar, where the 2009 MotoGP World Championship will begin on the evening of April 12th.
It is assumed that James Toseland's personal Red Bull sponsorship will be terminated by the new deal.