An exclusive interview with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team principal Herve Poncharal, the first part of which focuses on the team's fortunes in MotoGP this season with top satellite rider Cal Crutchlow and rookie team-mate Bradley Smith.
Crutchlow will move to the factory Ducati team at the end of this season, with Moto2 world champion Pol Espargaro joining Smith for 2014...
Tell us about Cal's time as a Tech 3 rider?
Last year Cal clearly made a big step compared with 2011. I think Cal used the winter break before 2012 to analyse and understand what went wrong in 2011 and Dovi was also important as a team-mate.
Dovi was the lead rider last year in terms of points and podium finishes. But Cal was very close and for sure the strength of the team was the two of them pushing each other and scoring big points.
I think Cal learnt a lot from Dovi - how he worked, watching him, access to all the data - and Cal pushed Dovi, so they both helped each other in a way.
When it is your team-mate you have 'no excuse'. You've got to do it. When it is the same brand but a different team, you can think 'different treatment, different technical crew - different something'.
Then Dovi left [for Ducati] and I knew Cal was going to be the lead rider in the team this year. But would Cal be able to cope with that? Would he be able to still improve?
Without having someone to push him as hard...
This is what we were thinking during the winter break. But as soon as we arrived for the first pre-season test at Sepang we could see that Cal was even better.
Although he had a massive improvement from '11 to '12, we weren't sure if they would be another improvement for '13. But there definitely was. This year he has been a better MotoGP rider than last year.
In what ways?