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Where do you get off stating that I'm pretending like I know Bird or that I'm in the paddock or in Britian? I don't care if I was sitting on the damn moon reading this statement he still comes off like a tw@t. End of.
You can go on romantizing about Bird like he's Robin Hood giving to the poor all you want. He's not the only team owner in motorsports spending his own dime - it's been going on since the beginning of motorsports. There are other team owners world wide coughing up their own coin as well.
I don't buy the story about Aprilia wanting Shakey and Bird giving in to that. Even when Bird was running factory teams he called the shots on his own riders. He PAYS Aprilia for bikes and they have as much right requesting who rides the bike as me or you. There should be data and video evidence of the chatter - it doesn't take another rider to confirm that.