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It's not just the hardware, it's the engineering and the paychecks. The factories just bring a bigger warchest to the races. This guy is going to do better riding as a test-rider for a factory than he's going to do riding as both a test-rider and a racer for a CRT outfit. How is this even debatable? Would you rather be a factory test-rider or a privateer racer? Gee I can't imagine how this would be a hard choice. The test-rider gets paid to test various hardware and occasionally gets to actually race, while the racer has to try to win on one particular configuration, on one particular track, every race-weekend, rain or shine. Plus do development-testing. Now throw in that one is a factory tester and the other is a privateer racer. This is a no-brainer. It's like being the first-alternate for Shuttle commander vs trying to build and fly your own shuttle from commercially-available parts.