Contrary to rumours in the British bike racing media this week, Brazilian ace Alex Barros will not be seeking a return to Sito Pons' eponymous team for 2004.

Barros' press office confirmed that the MotoGP race winner would remain with the Gauloises Yamaha team for the second year of his two-season contract, despite being linked with a possible return to the Honda fold in place of Tohru Ukawa, who currently rides for Pons' Camel Pramac operation.

Barros was rumoured to be discontented with the apparent lack of parity between the two Japanese marques, which has seen Honda dominate the new-look MotoGP formula for the past two seasons. In eleven races so far this season, the Brazilian has had just one podium finish - in the French GP at Le Mans - and occupies a lowly eighth position in the championship, with 76 points.

"There is no truth in the suggestion that Alex may return to Pons," insisted his press office, "He has a two-year contract with Yamaha, and he will not break that."