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With his poor performance he's demonstrated so far, I thought there's no room for Smith to back off any further and he can only make a step forward. However, it seems like there is some more rooms for him to further back off . He managed to proceed automatically to the Q2 at the season opener at Qatar. Then at the second round at the US, he failed to get within the top 10 in FP3, but did proceed to the Q2. And this time at Jerez, he failed to get within the top 10 again, having been outpaced by many riders on clearly inferior bikes than his. Maybe, he's gonna fail to proceed to the Q2 this time?
I wonder if his contract with the Tech3 really has the clause that states he's given the ride of the 'M1' specifically. Maybe he can ride a CRT bike next year staying at the Tech3? It seems to be OK for the Tech3 to give this kid a ride, but Yamaha must be very unhappy about it now......