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As the season approaches every one of the riders will be talking up their prospects. It's what they do. It's expected. Any rider who doesn't big up their chances doesn't deserve the ride. They must always be positive. Negatives and "not sure's" indicate lack of confidence.
Ignoring the compulsory BS, I'd say Norge's career is still ascending. I'd also say that it appeared that Aprilia seemed to hesitate before signing Sylvain, so he couldn't be considered team leader. But, he was fast in 2012 on a series of privateer bikes, so in a full year on a works bike he is bound to be a real contender.
I can't wait to see him and Norge head-to-head.