Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team Manager Herve Poncharal admits the 2015 MotoGP season is a crunch year for Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro.

Poncharal says the key to both riders' prospects this year will be psychological fortitude as the bid to step up their performances on the satellite M1s.

"Bradley is fast, Pol is fast, we believe in them and Yamaha is behind them 100 per cent," said Poncharal. "We have to help them to be psychologically stronger and to feel less pressure, although they need to have some pressure.

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"You always have positive and negative pressure. It's going to be a team result and I don't want to blame a rider or a bike. Altogether we have a programme and a target and we need to be reaching that because we all know each other quite well and sometimes results can come from continuity," he added.

"The 2015 season is going to be an important one for many riders in the MotoGP class including our two guys."

On Tech 3's Moto2 challenge with Marcel Shrotter and Ricard Cardus this season, who will use the team's in-house chassis, Poncharal said the project gave him a 'special feeling'.

"This is our own project. We might be the last team to come racing with our own specific chassis, designed and manufactured here at Tech 3, competing against a big brand, which is almost 90 per cent of the field. This is our baby!" he told the official MotoGP website.

"This is our bike, designed here and it gives us a special feeling to go racing in the Moto2 class and see our two guys on it."

Poncharal also feels the team's involvement in Moto2 benefits its MotoGP strategy when its comes to machine set-up.

"I believe that if you only do what you have to do on Grands Prix weeks and then go home in between, that works and that's what most of the teams do," he said.

"But I think if you give your guys something to do in between races, especially when it is bike design and thinking about how to face the problems of a constructor, clearly you understand things and you improve your skill.

"Also when you face the situation of having to set up Brad or Pol's bikes maybe what you have learned is going to help you to perform more and to find solutions more quickly."


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Best of luck to them both!! Hope they get some podiums this year! I think MM, JL, VR, and DP will be even more aggressive this year.....possible that one or more won't be top 4 if the pack can stay near them!! Wishful thinking, I know I know!!! Bring on 2015!!