‘Now there’s no such thing as a factory and satellite rider in MotoGP’


KTM Factory Racing Tech 3 Team Manager who is also President of IRTA (Racing Team Association), Herve Poncharal , said that there is no longer any difference between factory and satellite team racers in MotoGP . Now both parties have equal technical support, and this makes MotoGP an exciting competition.

If calculated since the introduction of MotoGP in 2002 as a substitute for the GP500 class, there have been 35 victories achieved by 12 riders from satellite teams. However, the satellite team riders had not won for 10 years since Toni Elias won the Portuguese MotoGP at the Estoril Circuit in 2006.

The victory fast of the satellite team rider was then ended by Jack Miller in the 2016 Dutch MotoGP at Assen with EG 0.0 Marc VDS Honda. Since Miller’s victory, there have been 13 victories achieved by six satellite team riders. Finally, Jorge Martin won at the Red Bull Ring in the 2021 Styria Series with Pramac Racing.

The success of the satellite team is undeniably the result of the hard work of Dorna Sports, IRTA, and MSMA (Manufacturers Association), which promotes equality between the satellite and factory teams: starting with the electronic uniform (ECU) in 2016, and increasing support from manufacturers who now supply motorcycle specs. better to the satellite team.

Used to be a burden, now a partner
“The level of the satellite team, i.e. independent operations, has risen sharply. I would say, a decade ago, we were only here to fill the grid, and the manufacturers saw us as a burden on their shoulders,” Poncharal told Crash.net on Tuesday ( 14/12/2021).

“They have to do it just to make our grid look decent. Their mentality is mainly, ‘OK, you guys got an old bike that should have been thrown in the trash, you have to pay us for it, but you have to do the job while we fight for the world title’, ” continued the man from France.

With improved technical support, Poncharal is also happy, because his team, which also operates as a satellite team, can now compete for victory. Now, only a handful of MotoGP riders can get an old motorbike package. Even if they use an old motorbike, they can still get a lot of support from the manufacturer so they can still compete at the front.

“Now, we (satellite teams) are fighting for the win. Razlan (Razali, Petronas SRT) succeeded. This year Paolo (Campinoti, Pramac). In the past, Lucio (Cecchinello, LCR) has also done it. We can see the work we are doing together, with Dorna and IRTA, pushing MSMA, it’s been very productive,” said Poncharal.

Satellite Team Racers Can Now Dream of Winning MotoGP
It should also be noted, the 24 riders who participated in the 2022 MotoGP are all contracted with their respective manufacturers. “Now you no longer have a satellite or a factory racer. Everything is on an equal level. Most of the satellite riders even have a direct contract with the manufacturer. Even the word ‘factory racing’ is written on my jacket,” said Poncharal.

Seeing the increasingly equal performance of MotoGP racers, both from the factory and satellite teams, Poncharal also stated that the world’s largest motorcycle racing championship was at its best. Now, the satellite team racers can dream of becoming world champions one day.

“All the work we have done over the last ten years continues to mature, and we have reached where we used to want to be. Now MotoGP has a different scenario, and it’s no longer crazy to think that a satellite team rider can win a world title,” he concluded. .

For the record, the best ranking ever achieved by a satellite team rider in MotoGP (since 2002) is the runner-up rank, which was won by Sete Gibernau in 2003, 2004 and 2005 with Gresini Racing (Honda), and Franco Morbidelli in 2020 with Petronas Yamaha. SRT.