Tech3's new partnership with KTM not only means a switch from Yamaha in MotoGP, but the end of their own chassis project in the Moto2 class.

250cc world champion's with Yamaha during the two-stroke era, Tech3 returned to the intermediate class by designing, building and racing its Mistral 610 from the inaugural 2010 season of the Honda-powered 600cc four-strokes.

The Mistral took victory in the hands of Yuki Takahashi during its debut year, with the last of its six podiums coming at the hands of Xavi Vierge at Motegi in 2017.

In between, Bradley Smith took the most Mistral rostrums (three), all during 2011, on his way to a MotoGP ride for the French team.

Takahashi takes a Moto2 win for Tech3, Catalunya 2010.

Although several other satellite MotoGP teams claimed to be interested in creating their own Moto2 bike, ultimately only Tech3 stepped up to the plate while the others favoured an off-the-shelf chassis from the likes of Kalex, Suter and Moriwaki.

But team boss Herve Poncharal says the time is now right to park the Mistral, ahead of what would have been a required redesign for the new Triumph engine in 2019.

"We've been happy to see Remy Gardner end the Mistral career with a fifth position at Valencia, his best result, and the week after Hector Garzo was fighting for the win in CEV, ending up second. So the Mistral went out on a high," Poncharal told Crash.net.

"But you have to face reality. We are a team. We have limited resources in terms of manpower and budget and to fight with manufacturers like KTM or even Kalex… Our mission is to be a race team.

"We did it because it was a crazy idea we had! And we did it for nine years and we were competitive in terms of podiums and a race win.

"So it was an incredible adventure, but now we have new adventures; to help KTM to grow in MotoGP, be with them also in Moto2 and become involved in MotoE. So many other things.

"It's good to have a lot of projects, but sometimes if you are a sensible manager - and I'm trying to be! - you need also to understand there is a limit. Also when we started the Moto2 chassis project there were less races.

"So you have to be realistic and before anything else we are a race team. We are not a manufacturer and it is not our wish, will or desire to become one.

"But we are happy we have done it.

"Some of my team manager friends told me they were going to do it as well, when we switched from 250 to Moto2, and they never had the courage. We did! It was not easy at all.

"But now we close that chapter and open another chapter without any sadness. Not at all. It was part of our adventure. Part of our life."

Bradley Smith took three Moto2 podiums with Tech3.

Crucially, Poncharal also feels that the knowledge gained during the Mistral chassis project raised the technical level of the whole team.

"Yes. [We learned] a lot," he replied. "Because when you build a full bike around an engine - chassis, aerodynamics, - you understand many things that clearly have helped all our guys inside the team to grow as engineers.

"And when you talk to a new manufacturer like KTM you have some feedback that you can give them. Also when you have to set-up a bike sometimes you understand things quicker and better than if you are only working as a mechanic in the garage.

"The Mistral was an in-house, homemade, Tech3 project and everybody - even the MotoGP guys - were participating in this adventure. So I think it raised the technical level of each single guy inside the Tech3 team."

Moto3 stars Marco Bezzecchi and Philipp Oettl will ride the new Tech3 KTM machines in Moto2 this season, with the first official test of 2019 starting at Jerez today (Wednesday).

Tech3 Racing Team in Moto2

2010

Riders: Yuki Takahashi, Raffaele de Rosa

Podiums: 2 (Takahashi)

Poles: 0

Wins: 1 (Takahashi)

Championship position: 12th (Takahashi), 27th (de Rosa).

2011

Riders: Bradley Smith, Mike de Meglio

Podiums: 3 (Smith)

Poles: 0

Wins: 0

Championship position: 7th (Smith), de Meglio (23rd)

2012

Riders: Bradley Smith, Xavier Simeon

Podiums: 0

Poles: 0

Wins: 0

Championship position: 9th (Smith), 21st (Simeon)

2013

Riders: Danny Kent, Louis Rossi

Podiums: 0

Poles: 0

Wins: 0

Championship position: 22nd (Kent), 24th (Rossi)

2014

Riders: Marcel Schrotter, Ricard Cardus

Podiums: 0

Poles: 0

Wins: 0

Championship position: 10th (Schrotter), 18th (Cardus)

2015

Riders: Marcel Schrotter, Ricard Cardus/Xavi Vierge

Podiums: 0

Poles: 0

Wins: 0

Championship position: 20th (Schrotter), 24th (Cardus/Vierge)

2016

Riders: Xavi Vierge, Isaac Vinales

Podiums: 0

Poles: 0

Wins: 0

Championship position: 20th (Vierge), 24th (Vinales)

2017

Riders: Xavi Vierge, Remy Gardner

Podiums: 1

Poles: 0

Wins: 0

Championship position: 11th (Vierge), 21st (Gardner)

2018

Riders: Remy Gardner, Bo Bendsneyder

Podiums: 0

Poles: 0

Wins: 0

Championship position: 19th (Gardner), 29th (Bendsneyder)

Xavi Vierge took the Mistral's final podium at Motegi 2017.

 

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