A quick read of the MotoGP tea leaves has it that energy drink Monster was planning to move their sponsorship money to the Yamaha factory team exclusively in 2018.
Now, though, with Tech 3’s newfound MotoGP success via new blood Folger and Zarco, it looks as if Monster’s plan to exit Tech 3 will be postponed for a year (2019).
Team boss Hervé Poncharal said before this weekend’s GP at Brno, “A lot of top Monster Energy staff will be attending the race and I truly hope that we can make some progress with our talks. The feeling is positive on both sides, but we haven’t finalised anything yet so I am looking forward to shaking hands with all the relevant people so that we can finish the year with a comfortable state of mind.”
So how does a team that is half-way to losing their biggest sponsor act with such calm and reserve? Normally most teams would be doing the HAIR ON FIRE dance while shedding expenses and assets.
Probably because Monster isn’t Tech 3’s biggest sponsor. Dorna and Carmelo Ezpeleta subsidize most of the “private” MotoGP teams.
Of course the gigantic elephant in the room is Valentino Rossi. It’s suspected that when Rossi no longer races he will have a MotoGP team to compliment his VR46 stables and riding academy. Rossi has a personal sponsorship with Monster but as the biggest thing in motorcycle racing (TM) it’s assumed that he can attract a huge sponsor for his team that would dwarf even Monster.