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cont/Oulton Park Reporting has also identified another twist...that perhaps Aprilia want some additional feedback, perfectly logical given Byrne tried his damndest with the Cube.
Bird has a history of hard decisions but he also has a past of helping in ways possible. John McGuinness was probably the first to go on to bigger things & benefit from support, then James Toseland, who's career had taken a knock the season before joining Bird, a year later and he is in WSBK....even in 2001 a 13/14 yr old Casey Stoner was allowed to use Bird's pit garage and facility at BSB rounds to help him settle in. No doubt it got some PR but still, it does not have to be done.
James Ellison is a worthy racer, but not a great racer, Shane Byrne has perhaps never performed to the hype but is rated in more ways than one. If Ellison returns after Le Mans perhaps the tune will be different.
One thing is for sure that there is a degree of more open mindedness from the team people slate compared with some on th