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There were calls for Rossi to take a Gresini Honda ride if the Yamaha deal didn't come off. Can you imagine the outcry if VR had done so, and he'd ended up doing the thankless task that Bautista now has (effectively being a test rider for Honda, developing Honda-owned Showa suspension while everyone else gets Ohlins, and knowing full well he's not empowered to race DP & MM)?
You'd have heard plenty of 'conspiracy theorist nonsense' then, if VR was denied every chance to compete at the front if that HAD happened! No-one cares cos its AB, not VR though. Still doesn't mean it ain't happening though.