Tech 3 boss sad to lose Guintoli
|By Toby Moody and Matt Beer||Tuesday, September 25th 2007, 16:10 GMT|
Tech 3 team boss Herve Poncharal has expressed his frustration at having to lose Sylvain Guintoli to Pramac D'Antin next season.
The French rookie took Tech 3's best ever result when he finished fourth at Motegi on Sunday, having battled for third with Toni Elias in the closing laps.
But Guintoli will leave the team at the end of the season, with Tech 3 set to run World Superbike convert James Toseland and current factory Yamaha rider Colin Edwards, although Edwards' transfer from the works team has still not been officially confirmed.
Poncharal said he was disappointed that Guintoli would be riding for a rival in 2008.
"I am really sad to let him go because for sure it was one of the best years I've had with a rider," he said.
"The combination of the team and the rider is really perfect, and it is very rare to reach that kind of harmony. I am a little bit sad to one more time educate a rider and give him to the opposition. Because for sure he is going to be stronger. I'm really unhappy to see him go."
He admitted that Yamaha had the final say over who rode for Tech 3.
"It was difficult, there is a whole organisation of four bikes and within this organisation it was quite difficult to keep everybody on board," Poncharal said.
"The decision was that the 2008 riders will be Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, James Toseland and Colin Edwards. So we'll look forward."
But Poncharal is optimistic that Guintoli's relationship with the team can end on a high - especially as Tech 3 had a strong run at Phillip Island with Carlos Checa in 2006.
"Sylvain is absolutely incredibly motivated to try to have a podium this year, and it was an incredible race last year in Phillip Island, an incredible qualifying with Carlos," he said.
"Dunlop are really working well in Phillip Island, it was our best qualifying, and if we hadn't had the shower it would have been interesting to see what would have happened. So we're really looking forward to the next race."