Tech 3 Yamaha boss Herve Poncharal is hoping Jorge Lorenzo inks a new factory Yamaha deal, so he can keep reigning Moto2 world champion Pol Espargaro in 2015.
Should a shock switch to Ducati or Suzuki tempt Lorenzo, then Spaniard Espargaro would be promoted to a coveted YZR-M1 slot alongside nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi.
Espargaro is contracted directly to Yamaha in Japan and he has made no secret of his desire to secure a factory place in the future.
But if Lorenzo and Rossi clinch new two-year deals as expected, it will be the 2017 season before he has any chance of fulfilling his factory ambitions with Yamaha.
The 22-year-old has impressed recently after claiming a maiden front row start in Le Mans, which he followed up with a brilliant podium assault in France.
And last time out in Mugello, he claimed a brilliant fifth to finish top non-factory rider for the first time in his MotoGP career.
Poncharal told MCN: “The high priority for Yamaha is to keep Jorge and Valentino. We have to wait but if I can keep Pol it would be like a dream because he has incredible potential.”
Asked what Yamaha’s chances of keeping Espargaro will be if the door to the factory team is slammed shut until 2017, Poncharal added: “If he continues to do well then he will be on anybody’s list. Yamaha is far from stupid and they signed Pol very early. They know his value and see how good he is and I am sure they will try very hard to retain him.”