i agree Rev, Cal did elude to the podium being a "gift" but like every racer ever born he'll take it as he knows as well as every other racer that you do indeed have to finish the race to be given a place.
and you're right, enough of that.
is Max coming back because of unfinished business?
i don't believe so, Max is a racer, he'll race whoevers in front (or preferably behind!) of them so i'd imagine he's just curious as to whether he still has it and even if he's the last of the prototypes he's still in the top 10 racers in MotoGP.
it might be argued that Pol or Scott might have a better chance but these things inevitably get mired in politics but every manager in the paddock knows WHO he wants (Herve is intent on keeping Cal somehow) but then Dorna and the sponsors wave the cash and at the end of the day that's what talks.
Max is a celeb of MotoGP racing so, like Vale he's a sponsors dream (it becomes more about popularity than ability sometimes) ; do you believe that Max still has the ability to beat Lorenzo because that's what MotoGP is about, beating the best.
just out of interest Rev, would you rather see Max on the Duke or Pol (i know with contractual obligations there's no chance but let's hypohesise like we are with Max)?
there are, sadly a lot of capable riders that may never get the chance to see how they'd fare in the big class and wouldn't Max be denying a more able racer (but not neccessarily more sponsor/factory favourable personality) the chance to shine?
who would be your ideal racer in Spies absence Rev?