Tech3 Insight - Part3: Guy Coulon
Posted on May 24, 2014 by Monster Yamaha Tech 3
This behind the scenes episode is about one of the key characters who is the heart of the Tech3 team along with Herve Poncharal. Guy Coulon operates as the renowned crew chief for Bradley Smith and has been present in the paddock for twenty-four years with Tech3 whilst working with a whole host of successful and talented MotoGP riders. His extensive knowledge of motorcycles and vast experience has seen him transform the riders into thoroughly competitive athletes. Guy also proudly stands as the head of development for the team’s self designed and made Mistral 610 bike, competing in the Moto2 World Championship since 2010.
Since a young age, Guy’s whole life has been dedicated to racing due in part to the fact that he grew up close to the Le Mans circuit where he first visited the 24 hours of Le Mans Moto race at the age of 5, which later became an almost annual ritual. He fulfilled his dream of becoming a full time motorcycle race mechanic in 1974, after working in the Paris-Dakar rally for a number of years as a technical director. This was before establishing the Tech3 Team in 1989 with Herve Poncharal, who together undertook their first season in 1990. There was no doubt from the early stages, about the different roles Guy and Herve would have to perform due to their dedication to competing professionally. Guy is a well-respected and integral figurehead in the world of racing and obtains a profound, in-depth level of knowledge about motorcycles which he has based his life upon. He has worked with a vast array of bikes including different manufacturers and engine sizes such as: the 1989 Paris-Dakar winning NXR750 or the 1987 Le Mans 24 hour Endurance NR750. This is in addition to the differing kinds of Yamaha which have been running in the MotoGP World Championship during the past years, from 250cc to 500cc two strokes, 800cc four strokes up to the recent 1000cc 4 strokes. His love of motorcycles sees him preparing classic bikes at his home during his free time, as he continues to bring success and expertise to the technical side of Tech3.
Guy undertakes much more than just being a crew chief, however in this role his main responsibility is to establish and provide a competitive setup of the MotoGP bike working in close collaboration with the rider, the data technician and the suspension specialist. As he interprets the rider’s thoughts, Guy proceeds to suggest and make technical decisions with his enormous engineering knowledge to extract the maximum performance from the Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider and the machine. He ensures that the riders recognise the changes that are made as well as providing suggestions on how to alter their riding styles, working in conjunction with the team to achieve the best results with the Yamaha YZR-M1. Guy has worked with successful MotoGP riders from all ranges and has enabled them to deliver top results during their time at Tech3 including; Olivier Jacque who won the 250cc world championship with the team, young and exciting Italian Marco Melandri during his second season in MotoGP, two time World Superbike Champion Colin Edwards, 125cc world champion Andrea Dovisioso as well as current hotshot and GP winner Bradley Smith.
In addition, he acts as the technical director of the exclusive Tech3 Racing Team Moto2 project. His expert knowledge in the field of motorcycles allows him to make the necessary and crucial decisions for the Mistral 610 to progress and build upon it’s best result of a win in Cataluña 2010 and four further podiums. The Mistral 610 is designed, manufactured and engineered exclusively by the Tech3 team, who are the only team to do so in the Moto2 world championship. The progression is lead by Guy with the crew chiefs, who change and undertake chassis development, aerodynamics and additional research together.
Guy’s determination, vision and perseverance sees him as a chief motivator in enabling the best decisions to be made for the growth of the Moto2 and MotoGP projects as he enters his 40th year in motorsport. His calm and collective manner coupled with his creative ideas for the team see him as the life and soul of the Tech3 team. In addition to his immense technical knowledge of motorcycles, Guy designs the hospitality units which are then manufactured by the team, illustrating his deep understanding of engineering inside as well as outside of motorsports. His experience and wisdom brings out the best in the riders and bikes for Tech3 where he performs a critical role in the team’s triumphs.
The following documentaries in the ‘Insight’ series will give further exclusive access behind the scenes.