The 2000 250cc world championship saw the Yamaha team’s two riders, Jacque and Shinya Nakano, go head-to-head for the title in an entertaining campaign. The fraction of a second that split the pair of YZR250s at Phillip Island at the finish line on the last lap of the final round decided the crown and remains still the closest climax ever to a championship dispute.
From 2001 Tech3 have been plying their trade in the premier class and their first MotoGP podium arrived in that season when Nakano managed third position on the YZR500 in Germany. From 2002 on the French team have been racing Yamaha’s MotoGP four-stroke machinery.
Their maiden silverware with the M1 was gained thanks to Alex Barros in 2003 and they have moved through a number of riders since then including the likes of the late Norick Abe, Marco Melandri and Carlos Checa.
2008 saw a big change for the team as they moved back to Michelin from several years running Dunlop rubber and also had another completely new rider line-up with Colin Edwards bringing his three years of YZR-M1 experience to the fold and James Toseland providing a much needed representation for Great Britain in MotoGP. With two former double world superbike champions running the blue and yellow colours in 2008 the Tech 3 have had arguably their strongest year since 2002. Edwards gained pole position and a podium result at the team’s home event at Le Mans while Toseland’s sturdy debut season meant both riders finished in the top eleven in the standings and helped the squad to fourth place in the Team’s Classification, ahead of two factory efforts.
The crew, based in Bormes Les Mimosas in the south of France, employs more than 20 people and recently cemented their strengthened ties with the factory by signing a deal to field YZR-M1 machinery until 2011. With Edwards and Toseland onboard for 2009 they are also the only team in the championship to be using a third different tyre manufacturer in three years as Bridgestone will now supply the control adhesion.