The French-based Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 Team is one of the most experienced teams competing in the MotoGP World Championship, with its proud history dating as far back as 1989.
Located in Provence in southern France, the team was formed by Hervé Poncharal and colleagues who began their Grand Prix adventure by contesting in the 250cc World Championship with Dominique Sarron. In 1993, Tech3 ran the American rider John Kocinski in the 250cc series, before signing emerging French talent Olivier Jacque, two years later.
It was to be a partnership that elevated Tech3 and Jacque’s profile to a new level. The French rider won a dramatic 250cc title in the season finale against teammate Shinya Nakano at Phillip Island in 2000 – with the Tech3 Team thrilling fans worldwide with one of the closest finishes to a title fight ever to occur in history.
A year later in 2001, Tech3 further enhanced its growing reputation by joining the MotoGP class, starting a long and successful collaboration with Yamaha in the premier series.
Nakano scored Tech3’s first MotoGP podium in Germany 2001. Since then, some of the biggest talents in racing have successfully spent time riding for Tech3, including Norick Abe, Carlos Checa, Alex Barros, Marco Melandri, Colin Edwards, Ben Spies, Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso, Pol Espargaro, Bradley Smith, Johann Zarco, Jonas Folger and Hafizh Syahrin.
As an integral part of Yamaha’s hugely successful MotoGP effort, Tech3 has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years. Edwards scored four top three finishes during his spell with Tech3. Whereas Spies enjoyed a fantastic rookie campaign in 2010, to claim a stunning debut MotoGP podium at Silverstone as well as a brilliant pole position and second place in his home race in Indianapolis. His performances saw him quickly earn a coveted seat in Yamaha’s Factory MotoGP squad for the 2011 World Championship campaign.
2012 was a superb year for Monster Yamaha Tech3 in the premier class. The crew confirmed its status as the leading independent team in the coveted Team World Championship, having seen at least one rider on the podium in nearly 50% of the races in 2012. Andrea Dovizioso asserted himself as the team’s most successful rider ever, scoring six podium finishes in 2012. British rider Cal Crutchlow scored two podiums in his second season in the premier class, with both riders being constant top five challengers.
Crutchlow was joined at the team by the Tech3 Racing Team’s Moto2 rider Bradley Smith in 2013. Crutchlow produced two sensational pole positions, four podiums and he finished in 5th in the World Championship, as well as ending up as the leading satellite rider in the MotoGP class. Smith contested his successful rookie campaign with three top six results and 10th in the standings. Tech3 also finished 3rd in the team standings in the World Championship for the second year in a row.
The Tech3 Team continued it’s long term and successful partnership with Yamaha and Monster Energy in 2014 along with the exciting young line up of British rider Smith and the 2013 Moto2 World Champion, Pol Espargaro. The year heralded some great results, including Smith’s superb run to 3rd in Australia and Espargaro’s consistently good form which saw him finish the season as the top satellite rider as well as the Rookie of the Year in 6th place in the overall standings.
The line up remained unchanged for 2015 and Smith delivered a highly impressive run to 6th in the standings, which saw him clinch the title of the leading satellite rider, with an additional highlight of a superb 2nd place at Misano. Whilst, Espargaro rode to some notable results including three top six finishes and two 4th place qualifying placements on his way to 9th in the standings.
2016 saw the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team field the same line up for the third consecutive season. Espargaro stormed to seven top 6 finishes, including a best result of 4th at the Dutch GP on his way to 8th in the standings. Whereas Smith contested his sixth year with the team and equalled the longest serving Tech3 rider record. Yet he endured a challenging campaign but showed true grit after returning from a serious knee injury to seize four point scoring results in the latter part of the year despite not being at full race fitness. Together their performances saw the team finish as the top independent team in the standings for the fifth time in succession.
In 2017, Monster Yamaha Tech3 teamed up with the impressive French double Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco as well as the rapid intermediate class race winner Jonas Folger. The exciting and all-new rookie partnership determinedly produced impressive performances in their debut season in the premier class aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bikes. Zarco climbed the podium three times, earning two titles, the best young rider in the category and the best independent rider, in 6th position overall. His teammate Folger finished 2nd at his home Grand Prix in Germany, but was not able to contest in the last four races of the championship for health reasons. He still finished the season inside the top 10.
In 2018, Zarco remained with Monster Yamaha Tech3. At his side Hafizh Syahrin debuted in the MotoGP class, following Folger’s announcement not to feel able to contest the 2018 season. The Tech3 Team already made history with bringing the first Malaysian rider in the premier class and he proved to be the right choice with making progress throughout the season, scoring four top 10 positions and missing out on the Rookie of the Year trophy by just four points. Zarco meanwhile used his seconds Tech3 year to the best in starting three races from pole and scoring three podiums to clinch the best independent riders spot for the second time in a row.
For 2019 Tech3 decided to initiate a completely new era, partnering KTM following a 20 years long relation with Yamaha. Thereby, Syahrin and new team partner Miguel Oliveira rode a factory-spec KTM RC16 and formed the brand-new Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team. With a best result of eighth at Red Bull’s and KTM’s home round in Austria, the Portuguese showed a strong debut season, which was unfortunately cut short by injury.
In 2020 Oliveira was back in full fitness, continuing his work together with Red Bull KTM Tech3, plus was partnered by promising youngster Iker Lecuona, who stepped up to the premier class. Oliveira showed a stand-out year with two superb victories in the Grand Prix of Styria and at his home round in Portimao, Portugal, concluding the season in ninth of the overall standings. Lecuona likewise displayed some great performances, finishing inside the top 10 three times in his rookie campaign.
In 2021, the French team continued its fruitful relationship with the Austrian manufacturer, competing as the Tech3 KTM Factory Team with experienced double MotoGP winner Danilo Petrucci and with the talented Spaniard Iker Lecuona. It was not the season expected by all, but Petrux managed to get the team's best result of 2021 in Le Mans with a fifth position. Iker Lecuona finished two times in the Top 10 and got his best result in the premier class with P6 at the end of the crazy Austrian GP that will remain one of the most exciting of the year.
2022 was set to be an exciting season for the French crew as they welcomed Moto2 World Champion Remy Gardner, alongside Moto2 Runner-Up and Spanish sensation Raul Fernandez for their first season in the MotoGP class. It was a rather tough season for Tech3 KTM Factory Racing with both Gardner and Fernandez struggling all season to find their marks on the KTM RC16. Raul Fernandez finished six times in the points with a best result in P12 at both German GP and Valencia GP. Australian Remy Gardner’s season was highlighted by a P11 finish in Catalunya Grand Prix, one of the sixth races in which he scored points.
In 2023, the French team carried new colours as its livery turned red to fly the GASGAS flag high in Grand Prix with the experienced Spaniard Pol Espargaro and 2022 Moto2™ World champion Augusto Fernandez forming the line up of the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 team. A mix of experience and youth were the perfect fit for the squad full of hopes after a difficult year in 2022. Unfortunately, the team lost its captain at the opening round in Portimao after Pol Espargaro's heavy crash forced him to be out for the first eight rounds of the season. German Jonas Folger made its return to the Tech3 team as a substitute and brought nine points to his adoptive team between the Americas Grand Prix and the Dutch Grand Prix. Meanwhile, Augusto Fernandez was making a great start to his rookie season in the main class, highlighted by his first top 10 on round 3 in Austin. Le Mans was the highlight of the year when the Spaniard passed the checkered flag in P4, in what was only his fifth MotoGP™ race. The progress continued as the rookie impressed, scoring points during eleven consecutive rounds. If qualifying was not his strongest point, the Spaniard showed that he was made for Sundays early into the season, but we saw major improvements towards the end of the season in qualifying, allowing him to start from better grid positions. In Valencia, Augusto Fernandez received the trophy of the 2023 MotoGP™ Rookie of the year, somehow a formality, but the number 37 did not steal his title, as he scored a total of seventy-one points and ranked seventeenth in the riders championship. Let's remember that his 2022 predecessors had only scored twenty-seven points between them. Pol Espargaro returned to racing in Silverstone after four difficult months, taking P12 on his first race back, which was followed by an impressive P6 at the Tissot Sprint of the Austrian GP. Having participated in only twelve of the twenty rounds, the number 44 finished twenty-third in the championship.
2024 is set to be more exciting than ever for the GASGAS squad as the red bike will hit the track for the second year in a row in Grand Prix, but this time, with Red Bull colours as the team becomes Red Bull GASGAS Tech3. Augusto Fernandez's impressive rookie year secured him a ride for a second season with the Tech3 team, while sensation and two-time World Champion (Moto3™ in 2021 and Moto2™ in 2023) Pedro Acosta is set to make his much awaited debuts in MotoGP™ in 2024 with the French squad. Next season looks tasty, and we will be here for it!