Yamaha MotoGP boss Lin Jarvis has said that Jorge Lorenzo's impending Ducati move probably was a distraction for him during the season.
Lorenzo signed a two-year deal with Ducati just one month into the season, despite seeking and receiving a new contract offer from Yamaha ahead of the season opener.
That meant the Spaniard had to complete almost the entire season knowing it would be his last at Yamaha, eventually finishing third behind team-mate Valentino Rossi and champion Marc Márquez.
Jarvis said it's very likely that played some part in his performances.
"The fact that Jorge decided to move early in the season, it's difficult to say, to quantify and judge what effect that had on his season but, definitely, it is a distraction," Jarvis said.
"There's no doubt about it because maybe you still have 95% of your thought on the job at hand but there's 5% thinking about the future, considering the Ducati, trying to see what it's going to do.
"I can't say what direct influence it had but it's definitely more easy for the team to manage a full season when you know that your pilots are going to be here also for the future, and I think [it's easier] for the riders.
"That said, we're second and third in the championship. Luckily our riders when they put their helmet on, normally they're able to block out everything and to get on and stay fully focused so I think we've still put a very good season together even despite that change."
Yamaha have brought in Maverick Vinales from Suzuki to replace Lorenzo.