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I like Cal as a rider, and at least he has some personality. I don't think he's being pessimistic when he says 'a few podiums' either.
Its clear as the nose on your face... just like last year, there's 4 bikes which nothing else out there should be able to get NEAR by the flag in a dry race. So barring incident / rain thats the top 4 spots sewn up then. Ben Spies had a 'mare on one in 2012 so that opened up a place nearer the box. Casey mayt be gone but his factory missile is still there for Marquez.
It'll take one or more of the factory Yam and/or HRC pilots to under-perform to give anyone else a shot at a 3rd, let alone higher. You can't blame Cal or any other rider for realising this fact.