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"Large pinch of salt required for the above though - it's a little hard to imagine Yamaha would choose a US round to fire an American rider."
We're not talking about firing him here, we're talking about not renewing his contract. Anyway the usual form is not to announce that a rider is leaving, but to announce the signing of a new rider. Then follow that with a short message thanking the outgoing rider and saying they'll be sorry to see him go.
If Ben is going to lose his seat it needs to happen sooner rather than later for his sake so that he'll have time to find something else for next year. I'd hate to see him lose his seat at the end of the season and fail to negotiate a decent ride for next year.