MotoGP

Tech 3 Racing toast success after first MotoGP race win in 20 years

They've always been one of MotoGP's trusted and competitive acts but it has taken until now 20 years after its debut for Tech 3 finally score a victory

While MotoGP has no ‘bad guys’ in it per se, for many Tech 3 Racing are the undisputed ‘good guys’, the underdogs that always come close but – until this weekend – fall just short of getting the that much desired maiden victory.

Indeed, Miguel Oliveira’s maiden win in the Styrian MotoGP may have come at the relative start of what beckons to be a successful career, but it was also a first success for the French outfit after almost 20 years of trying. 

The win-less stat is actually rather surprising when you consider Tech 3 Racing hasn’t exactly been a bit-part player over these past 20 years. Ever since Tech 3 Racing entered the fray in 2001 as Yamaha’s satellite team, it has been present for the bad entries and the best ones, notching up multiple podiums.

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In fact, since 2001 Tech 3 Racing had achieved 34 podiums without topping it, its best seasons coming in 2012 and 2013 when the combination of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow clicked up 12 visits between them.

What’s perhaps most remarkable about this achievement though is that he has been done with KTM. Some questioned the wisdom of Tech 3 severing its ties with Yamaha in favour of KTM, especially after a first season together that yielded only scant points and a regular back row starting slot.

However, while KTM may have slightly reneged on its promise of like-for-like machinery between its Factory team and Tech 3 in 2019 – something Yamaha could never offer - the two outfits share greater parity now to the extent there are as good as four works KTM RC16s on the grid.

With the bike showing a big step forward this year, coupled to Oliveira’s emergence as one of MotoGP’s burgeoning stars have led to a hugely emotional day for Tech 3’s long-standing founder and team manager Herve Poncharal.

“I saw that Pol started to keep a quite defensive line and I thought they could both lose a lot of time, so I could take advantage of that," Oliveira said. "In the last corner, I let them both fight and just went to the inside. When I saw the chequered flag and no one around, it was just pure joy!"

“What an incredible day, incredible emotions!" Poncharal said. "It is something like 40 years we’ve been in this business and we never won a MotoGP race.

"Honestly, I thought that was never going to happen and today our dream came true. Here in Austria, which is in front of our title sponsor Red Bull, in front of the KTM management, our manufacturer."
 

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