KTM's decision to withdraw from Moto2 would have left Tech3 in need of a new chassis supplier for 2020.

But in a case of 'one door closes, another opens', KTM instead asked its MotoGP partner to also join them in Moto3 next year, as part of an increased effort by the factory in the junior class.

It was an offer Herve Poncharal was quick to accept.

"Last winter we switched from Yamaha to KTM in MotoGP. It was a big decision but every passing day I'm happier and happier to have taken that decision," Poncharal told Crash.net.

"We really feel at home with the KTM and Red Bull families. One of the things I like a lot is you can talk and meet with the people at the top: Mr Stefan Pierer, Mr Hubert Trunkenpolz and Mr Pit Beirer, and they all follow everything that's happening on the racetrack."

It was during a meeting with KTM management at the start of their home Austrian Grand Prix on August 9 that the Moto2-Moto3 switch was presented to Poncharal.

"Mr Pierer and Mr Trunkenpolz asked for a meeting and explained that, for sure the focus and most important class is MotoGP, but Moto3 is also very important because it's where you start in this championship and it follows the Red Bull KTM Rookies Cup.

"Also, both MotoGP and Moto3 are proper prototype classes, with full KTM bikes. Moto2 is a different spirit, the one engine rule etc. So they've decided to stop their investment in Moto2 in order to focus on the two main classes for them, MotoGP and Moto3.

"I understand why and, a bit like them, I like new challenges and adventures. Their excitement and passion is contagious and they were so excited about their new plan for me to move to Moto3 that I told them, 'hey, let's go!'

"It's going to be a big challenge because Moto3 is a special class and I certainly don’t think it's an easy class. These bikes have a high level of technology and they are so compact they almost look like a toy. I think to fine-tune them you will need experience.

"Most of our current Moto2 team will be part of the new Moto3 team and, I'm pleased to say, the colours are going to be the same: Red Bull, KTM, Elf."

While Poncharal was keen to take up the new challenge, the timescale means 'creative thinking' is needed in terms of the rider line-up, with most of the Moto3 favourites already committed for 2020.

"It's going to be difficult. I don’t want to say we are going to win because clearly, as in every class, the rider is the key for results," he said.

"In Moto3 you've got the top guys that are looking to move up to Moto2 - Canet, Dalla Porta, Fenati, Ramirez - and of the other top guys that will remain, guys like Arbolino, Masia and Foggia are already contracted.

"So we've arrived a bit late and it's up to me to be a bit creative with thinking about riders."

Are you looking at the various Rookie and Talent cups as well as the present grid?

"Everything! On paper the ideal line-up would be to have an experienced Moto3 rider who has done at least one or two seasons in the world championship and maybe a rookie from the Rookie's Cup or CEV Junior World Championship," Poncharal replied.

"We have a lot of names. Moto3 is where you start in the world championship and so there a lot of young riders dreaming to join. I've received applications from English kids, French kids, German kids, Japanese kids… A lot of applications and now we need to find the two riders."

A decision on at least one of the riders could be made during this weekend's San Marino Grand Prix.

Whoever is chosen, the main goal for 2020 is to build a solid Moto3 base for the future.

"I don’t think we're going to win the championship next year. If we do it will be exceptional and I have to say very lucky," Poncharal said. "But 99% this is unfortunately not going to happen because we know the top guys, especially Masia and Arbolino, are going to be very strong.

"For year one we need to have a good technical crew, a well-organised team with two riders that are happy to be with us and showing we are in Moto3 team. Then we have to grow.

"But I'm excited. It's a good challenge, good project and my guys are quite impatient to start working on these beautiful toys…"

Tech3 were world champions with Yamaha in the former 250GP category, then took a race win and six podiums with their own chassis in Moto2.

The switch to KTM and a new rookie line-up of Marco Bezzecchi and Philipp Oettl for the start of the Triumph era has brought a best finish of tenth so far this season.

 

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