Monster Yamaha Tech 3's home French MotoGP hopes will rest on the shoulders of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro at Le Mans this weekend.
Previous Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow set the bar high with second in last year's wet race, but there is no reason why Smith cannot realistically aim for top satellite honours and a top five finish - whatever the weather.
"After a quite satisfying start to the year in terms of results, I am fully confident of battling for a positive finish at the team's home grand prix,” said Smith, who qualified on the front row in Qatar and claimed a MotoGP best of fifth in Austin.
“We had a useful post-race test in Jerez and found some valuable information, which will aid my riding and setup.
“I rode to my first ever podium here in the 125 class in 2007, so Le Mans holds some good memories for me and I intend to create some more here this round.
“It's a really technical and demanding track, however I enjoy a lot riding here and even if there is still a little work to be done, I am certain to put on a good show for the team this weekend.”
Rookie Espargaro has a best finish of sixth from his four MotoGP starts so far.
“I am looking forward to the Grand Prix de France and doing my best for the Tech 3 team in their home country,” said the Spaniard.
“I won the race here in 2010 in the 125 class, and have always enjoyed the circuit. I am still learning step by step, but am feeling really confident, especially after testing a few things on the bike in the test after the Jerez race.
“I feel very optimistic in achieving a good result in front of the team's fans and am excited to see what I can do aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 around the famous Le Mans circuit.”