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Didn't Bird pay for Sykes out of his own pocket last year as Kawasaki wanted Vermulean and had promised Lascorz a ride?
I am not a big fan of Bird but if you haven't noticed the bike is pretty much sponsor free, Dorna are subsidising him. He has aspirations to move this on to a 2 man team next year, for that he will need to bring in backing, if the bike has problems then they need to sort them otherwise there will be no financial suport.
Buckmaster was quick to slag Ellison off on Twitter repeating comments that Bird had made in the paddock, but that sums him up. I am sure they are running on a shoestring this year so he needs as much help as he can, as the saying goes, 2 heads are better than 1.
Realistically James didn't get his ride on merit, probably due to his Motogp experience but that was spent entirely on Dunlops. He did ok when he was on the WCM because nobody expected anything but failed to deliver to Checa's standard on the Tech3 (yes the frame was old.
At the end of the d