Re: Why Xaus?
You are, of course, exactly right. My comment was not a reflection on Xaus (or on Haga either, for that matter) so much as it was on the combination -- both are very talented, but somewhat erratic, riders (and are two of my personal favorites). I guess if I were team manager, I would have one of them and a more steady, reliable rider for the other spot.
Regarding the advantage of Xaus being Spanish -- given the huge popularity of motorcycle racing in Spain (check out the attendence figures for the Spanish rounds of both SBK and GP), and the fact that Spain is a huge market, this is a VERY BIG DEAL.