A landmark moment in the history of Tech 3 takes place on Tuesday, when the former 250cc World Championship winning team - which now runs Yamaha's satellite MotoGP outfit - will put its new Moto2 machine on track for the very first time.
Next year will see Tech 3 enter a grand prix support class for the first time since its title-winning 2000 season, when Olivier Jacque and Shinya Nakano finished first and second on Chesterfield-backed Yamahas.
The French-based team has been enticed into the 250cc replacement class by the opportunity to design, build and race its own chassis in the new 600cc four-stroke world championship. In other words, Tech 3 has become a constructor.
“We're going to be on track tomorrow,” Poncharal told Crash.net
on Monday morning. “It will be an emotional moment because it will be the very first time that the bike has been running on a proper racing track.
“The test will be held at Ledenon, which is near Nimes. It's about 250km from [the team's headquarters] in the South of France.
“It will be a pure shakedown test and the importance beyond the track debut is not that big. The only thing I hope is that there will not be any problems or crashes!
“We just want to make sure we are ready for the Valencia test on the 9th and 10th of December. That will be the first proper test, when we will be on track with other Moto2 teams and using one of our race riders, which will be Raffaele de Rosa.
“We only have one bike ready at the moment, so we thought it would be a bit of a waste of time and energy to fly [Yuki] Takahashi from Japan to Valencia and just do one day of riding each. The weather can also be dodgy at this time of year so we are just using the rider based in Europe.
“However, the second bike will be ready by mid-December at the latest and we want to give both de Rosa and Takahashi as much track time as possible, to get used to the bike and get their feedback.