Bradley Smith thrilled with Yamaha backing

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British rider Bradley Smith says he is thrilled to be getting identical technical support as new Tech 3 Yamaha teammate Pol Espargaro in 2014.

Espargaro is contracted directly to Yamaha but will ride for Herve Poncharal’s satellite squad next year with Smith, who is preparing for his second season in the MotoGP world championship.

But reigning Moto2 world champion Espargaro will not be given additional technical support over Smith, who is contracted to the French-based Tech 3 squad.

Smith actually believes having Espargaro as a factory contracted teammate will benefit his challenge next season, as he looks to build on an encouraging rookie campaign on a YZR-M1 prototype machine.

Smith, who finished 10th in his rookie campaign, told MCN: “It’s a bit strange with him being a Yamaha rider and I am a Tech 3 rider. But I suppose with Pol coming into the team as a Yamaha rider, and Yamaha’s policy of keeping the same material, that will help me a fair bit because I get everything he gets and they will be sending stuff his way.

“If anything it is a blessing to have a factory rider in the box. I will be very surprised now that Yamaha and Herve have said we will get the same support and then something else happens.

“This year has been different because Cal (Crutchlow) has had something different to me but he was battling for wins at the beginning of the season and had two pole positions and podiums, so they absolutely needed to give him something better. But it will be nice to be on a level playing field with Pol next year.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt