James Toseland’s Tech 3 Yamaha squad has denied it will have to surrender one of its factory spec YZR-M1 machines to a rival team in 2010.
Strong rumours emerged recently suggested that Herve Poncharal would be forced to run a one-rider team next season, with one of his YZR-M1s being leased to Spaniard Jorge Martinez, who is desperate to move to the premier class in 2010.
Martinez has launched another bid to move to MotoGP next season, and his preferred option is to lease a bike off Yamaha. But Poncharal has issued a strenuous denial that Yamaha would offer one of his bikes to Martinez, with the Japanese factory unwilling to increase its involvement beyond four riders.
“I have a contract with Yamaha to run two bikes in 2010 and that has not changed at all," said Poncharal, who has been reassured by senior Yamaha management in Le Mans and Mugello that he will not be stripped of one of his bikes.
"I got concrete assurances from Masao Furusawa in Italy that I will have two bikes in 2010, there is no doubt about that," added Poncharal.