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I like Cal, but I think his fans need to realize that he is starting to look like a permanent bridesmaid. He's fast, no doubt about that, but this is racing over forty minutes, not a 1 minute hillclimb. It's been said before, but Cal's racecraft is lacking, when compared to his out and out speed. Yes, he's improved during his time at Tech3, but I really don't see him as a championship challenger on a factory bike. Potential occasional race winner, yes, but champion, no.
Obviously Yamaha and Tech3 want to see their riders do the best they can and are probably hurting a little from Smith's poor start to the season. This could just be a way of putting pressure on Cal to try to get him to up his game a little.