The Canadian entrant in an international competition for mechanics has won the top prize.
Brett Hart, a master technician at Blackfoot Motosports in Calgary, was named champion at the Yamaha World Technician Grand Prix in Iwata, Japan, at Yamaha Motor Corporation’s headquarters. The competition was held Oct. 17 and was the eighth running of the World Tech GP. Hart is the first Canadian to win.
He took the prize in the Sports Model class, beating second place finisher Darren Stout of Australia and third-place finisher Alan Simmonds.
“Words cannot describe the way I feel,” said Hart after the event. “It’s surreal, a dream come true. I have been treated like a celebrity by Yamaha staff, and all the competitors act like I’m a rock star. It’s unlike anything I have experienced before.”
Hart won the Canadian qualifying round (CC Sept-Oct Speculator) in July, competing against seven other Yamaha mechanics from around the country. It was his third attempt at the Canadian round and his first win.
The day-long World Technician Grand Prix included technical tests as well as customer-service tests, which threw a wrench into the game for people who spend most of their time up to their elbows in motorcycle engines rather than chatting with customers.
Hart said he overthought one of the technical challenges. “I was second-guessing myself instead of trusting my training,” the Calgary native explained, “but I was able to get past it and quickly made up points.”
He told Cycle Canada before the Japanese round that he was excited about going to Japan and competing. The finalists in the competition were also treated to a meeting with the governor of the Shizuoka prefecture, a tour of the impressive Yamaha Communication Plaza and factory assembly line in Iwata, opening and closing ceremonies, a farewell dinner with a traditional Japanese magic show, and a two-day tour of Kyoto and Osaka.
Hart bested 21 competitors representing 19 countries and regions in the Sports Model class. There are an estimated 34,000 Yamaha Technical Academy-certified technicians across the globe, so Hart’s win puts him in a class of one.
“I think this shows that Yamaha Motor Canada takes service very seriously and should be respected on a global level,” Hart said after winning. “It shows we care for our customers and have the skills to keep them safe and happy on the roads.”
Yamaha’s Technician Grand Prix is held every two years as part of the company’s global service education plan. Hart was accompanied on the trip to Japan by Stephane Gagnon, a Yamaha rep from Quebec, who was Hart’s coach.