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I think its a fair shout about Espagaro - he rode well enough to regularly trouble Marquez, and is a trier and fast. I'd back him to do well on a MGP bike too.
But.... much as I like Redding, so far you can't say his performances have eclipsed Smith's IMO. Redding had a better bike in 2012, but Smith was often squabbling in the same group in M2 with Scott.
Smith also already had his contract in place before the 2012 season - i.e. before Espagaro had such a great season and made a big case for himself for a MGP ride.
Like others, I'm happy to wait and see how Smith goes - Herve is no mug, and Brad's performances so far have been professional and respectable, if not earth-shattering. Brad just might be being smart and methodical, and trying to get used to the bike in testing and inch his way there, rather than risk putting himself into orbit, hospital and unable to race.
Its still to soon to judge Smith IMO - lets wait till mid-season and compare his efforts with Cal, Bradl, and o