Smith is on a two-year deal at Tech 3, so he's safe. Poncharal denied outright to me that he is talking to Espargaro. "I will never, ever sign a contract with Pol Espargaro," he said. When I said what if Espargaro signed with Yamaha, and Yamaha put him in Tech 3, he went quiet. I don't believe Crutchlow will stay at Tech 3, he'll either go to Ducati or he'll go to Suzuki. I don't believe LCR could muster the cash to run 2 RC213Vs. I think the plan is more likely to be 1 RC213V and one proddy bike, maybe with a Japanese or Asian rider. The biggest problem I see is US riders in the series. Hayden is on a slow, downward spiral; Spies, well, we need to see how much is injury, but last year, people close to him said his head just went, buckled under the pressure. He should have gone back to WSBK and cleaned up, rebuilt his confidence, but money kept him in MotoGP. And CEII? Well, he really needs to become a commentator. Would be great for the series. Who would take their place? There are no young Americans coming through the ranks, and no feeder series to produce them, the way there is in other countries. There are talented American riders, but no one anywhere near a Grand Prix team.