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Unless Yamaha improve the bike, I think Yamaha will be bottom of the constructors next year behind the improving BMW & the new Kawasaki. Everyone has struggled with the R1 since '09 except Camier in BSB & Spies in SBK. On the face of it, it looks like Laverty has taken Crutchlow's seat (WSS graduate) and Crutchlow was the better rider in that pairing as proved in '09. Cal also went into SBK with more 1000cc experience so on paper, Laverty shouldn't do as well as Crutchlow did this year. I suspect it'll be a similar story for Melandri as it was for Toseland on the other seat in that garage.
Leaving Yamaha seems to have done Sykes the world of good, could even be "top brit" in 2011, hope leaving Yamaha was the best thing for Toseland too.
Having said that, I think the methodical approach of Laverty means he'll be top Yamaha, unless of course Melandri learns to smile again and enjoy his racing.