Monster Yamaha Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal says pressure is not building on British rider Bradley Smith to improve his results to bolster his chances of keeping his place in the leading no-factory team in MotoGP next season.
Smith has made it clear that he wants to clinch a new contract with Poncharal’s French-based Tech 3 Yamaha outfit.
But after a brilliant start to his second MotoGP season, his form has dipped alarmingly.
The Oxfordshire rider raced close to the podium in the season’s first two races in Qatar and Austin, but he has only claimed one top six finish in the next five races.
Poncharal insists that Smith, who is in his fourth season with Tech 3 after a two-year stint on the team’s home made Mistral 610 Moto2 machine, has a future on a YZR-M1 and he told MCN: "We are talking to Bradley and we have an interest to keep him.
"He has shown an interest to stay and he has told us it is the best scenario he can have. His target is to do more than he has showed so far and our expectation and also Yamaha’s is to do more than what he is doing. But he knows this and he has an incredible motivation and he lives for MotoGP.
"Bradley is a strong candidate to stay with us but nothing is done. But he is not under pressure to perform. The only pressure he has it what he puts on himself. My job is not to put pressure on him. You need to have pressure but you don’t want too much."