Bradley Smith is on the lookout for a new MotoGP ride for 2017, with this year to be his final season with the Tech3 Yamaha squad.
Smith becomes the French outfit's equal longest-serving rider in the premier class this year, with this weekend's Qatar Grand Prix the start of his fourth campaign, on top of two years with Tech3 in Moto2.
But the British rider's sixth season with the team will be his last.
"This is the first time I've started the season in a situation where it looks almost certain I will be switching teams next year," he wrote on MotoGP.com.
"I've been with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team for five years, two in Moto2 and three in MotoGP and after this year, my fourth with them in MotoGP it looks like it's time to move on for both parties.
"I've had an absolutely brilliant time with them but team boss Herve Poncharal has made it clear he will not be renewing next year, however well I do.
"Tech3 is used by Yamaha to bring on young talent and I'm going to be 26 by the end of this season and much as I'd like to be, I'm no longer considered a fast young talent."
All of the factory riders come off contract at the end of this year, which sets the scene for an interesting silly season.
It also means Smith could be in a position to fulfil his dream of securing a factory ride, having been the top satellite rider last year.
"It's such an exciting situation because of my performance last season," he added.
"I'm in a very strong position, which gives me so much confidence and self-belief.
"I'm certain things will happen quickly because the big names in the sport want things to happen quickly so that they can concentrate on the season.
"I would like to be in the same situation but I'm not first pick and so I will be further down the line.
"We are either going to see a massive merry go round or it could remain much the same.
"It depends on a couple of the big riders if they are prepared to take the risk and jump to another manufacturer or stay within their comfort zone.
"I'm around eighth pick in the draft and so I've got to be patient."
While Smith had described his off-season as "frustrating" at times amid the change to Michelin tyres and a control ECU, he is bullish about his on and off-track prospects.
"Being on the back foot has always made me fight, kick and scream more to be where I want to be," he said.
"Rather than being distracting it totally focuses my goal.
"Last year it was finish as the top non-factory bike and this year it's exactly the same, although realistically that could be in the top eight because both the factory bikes and the riders are so strong this season."
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