Cypress, California July 28, 2011 – For most people who are into motorcycle-related motorsports, the words “Grand Prix” conjure up thoughts of Yamaha’s MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, his teammate Ben Spies, or the Yamaha YZR-M1®. But, for the highly skilled technicians who are employed throughout the Yamaha dealer network, “Grand Prix” means something slightly different.
The Yamaha United States Technician Grand Prix is an intense, two-day, hands-on technical skills challenge that pits dealership technicians from around the country against each other in a battle that tests all aspects of their mechanical aptitude.
In the competition, technicians face challenges that incorporate such areas as precision measuring, fuel injection and electrical troubleshooting, customer interview skills and service information gathering.
Out of 10 technicians who participated in the preliminary rounds of the USTGP, three top technicians emerged to compete in the final round of the competition that was held in June at Yamaha's Southeastern headquarters in Kennesaw, Georgia. The three technician finalists were graded by Yamaha Technical Training staff on the following real-world metrics:
1. Approach to the problem
2. Use of tools and test equipment
3. Overall attitude and work habits
4. Final diagnosis of the problem
After the competition, the three finalists were escorted to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, for a private tour of the facilities during the AMA Pro Racing National that was held at Barber on the same weekend. On Friday night, an awards dinner was held where the final results were announced.
Here’s how the three technician finalists placed:
1st place - Eric Romanowicz of Mondus Motorsports – Hudson, WI
2nd place - Bryan Harner of Yamaha of Camp Hill – Camp Hill, PA
3rd place - Tom Blackwell of LeBard & Underwood Inc. – La Habra, CA
The next day the three finalists attended Saturday’s races where they enjoyed a V.I.P. lunch with the Monster Energy/Graves Motorsports Yamaha and Yamaha Extended Service/Pat Clark Motorsports/Graves Motorsports Yamaha teams. The finalists “talked shop” with the Yamaha road racing team technicians; got a mechanic’s eye view of the team’s YZF-R1® and YZF-R6® racebikes; met the riders, including Josh Hayes, Josh Herrin, Chris Clark, and Tommy Aquino; and of course, enjoyed watching the races.
Yamaha would like to congratulate all three of these outstanding technicians and their dealership for their dedication to service excellence and customer satisfaction.