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Old 04-22-2013, 08:12 AM   #157
yooperbikemike OP
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Joined: Apr 2003
Location: The blue groove
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UngaWunga View Post

Bradl also needs to step it up. Sounds like they're expecting him to be a little higher up there. Beating Rossi is a step forward, but he needs to beat Crutchlow and challenge Lorenzo on the Honda tracks.
From our shallow perspective of 2 races in, it's a good as time as any to look at 2014.

Bradl and Bautista have two year deals, Bradl directly with Honda and its possible that Bautista's is as well. However, what they will be riding in 2014 is a matter of conjecture. There are rumors that LCR will get 2 "factory" bikes next year, which would leave Gresini with the option of a Honda proddy RC or CRT. Bautista is basically a Showa development rider, so I'm betting they'll get a proddy machine. Or, both teams could get one of each.

Yamaha will have to do something to satisfy Crutchlow, most likely giving Tech 3 a Factory bike. However, the Japanese don't especially care for someone who airs dirty laundry in public, even when they are fast. Crutchlow also made no friends at Ducati last year when he allegedly booted the CEO out of his motorhome when told he wasn't going to be offered a contract. Smith, while not stinking up the joint yet, will have to step up his game to keep someone like one of the Espargaro brothers off that bike.

Dovisioso looks to be making something like silk out of the sow's ear GP12 13, and he has a deal for next year. Hayden, no matter how many units he moves in the US market, needs to start being competitive with his team mate to keep a seat. Again, one of the Espargaro brothers looks like a candidate. Much as I hate to say it, Ben Spies looks like he's just picking up a paycheck. Results, not excuses -- no matter how good they are, get a rider a contract extension.

The remaining factor for 2014 is hardware. With leased Yamaha engines, a proddy Honda and the possible re-entry of Suzuki, the back of the field will change dramatically. More competitive bikes will attract more competitive riders.
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