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4th is 'LOSER' if you've got a Factory Yam or Honda. None of these guys should have any other bike in the same ballpark in a dry race.
Its not news, and its not like the factory teams aren't very aware of this. So - there's got to be serious motivation for VR especially (MM may get a Mulligan on account of being a Rookie) to run competitively right at the sharp end.
Will 3rd places and overall finish be enough for VR to justify his ride? Maybe/Probably. Consistent 4th's (esp. off the pace 4th's)? No way would that be acceptable to Yamaha I suspect - they really need VR to be beating at least one of the HRC's for the Constructors title.
Getting beaten by ANYONE else in the field? That would be very bad indeed for VR's rep I think. Nowhere to hide, sink or swim now he's got himself back on that Yam. VR knows it, we know it, the paddock knows it. What no-one really knows yet is how its going to pan out.