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I think you are right about the 4-6 months off for ducati (if not further) this is not a trellis frame either so they are very much and possibly even further back with the learning curve. However we cannot discount the fact that Ducati entered GPs with a bang and surprised many in 2003. A stroke of genius or luck, which ever, and a happy/comfortable Rossi could be the difference.
Anyway I like Spies and do not believe his seat is under any threat. Hope this is a better year for him. If anything, Dovi, while I believe he deserves a top ride and should stay in MGP, I think he also showed that with the "best bike on the grid," he could not get the job done (for the title). He would have to beat Spies in the title chase and pull an amazing performance (a win or something on the sat bike) to take Spies' seat at Yam. I like Dovi, but that will not happen for him on the Tech 3 bike. I think he will beat Crutchlow this year and keep his tech 3 seat though. Time will tell.
Just my h