I think the Bridgestones are the only reason he took his victories last season. Most conditions they are crap, but I believe when its really hot out, or even really cold out they hold up better than the Michelins. I think thats what a lot of the riders have said about the stones, but I'm not positive on that one. I know they are good in the rain. And even his fast times in the off season were said to be mostly set with Michelin qualifying tires.
I think he is in the same boat as Marco, and Nicky. They all are up and comers, who have displayed fantasic form at some of the grand prixs, but they all need to be there week in and week out. Marco has already shown he can be there week in and week out, and I think Nicky will be the next to show up week in week out, but Tamada won't be there week in and week out till next season I think. With the injury and new tires to get the feel for, its going to take some time. He also rides for more than just himself, he rides for Kato as well, making him a man on a mission.
I like Tamada a lot, a hope to see him earn a win on Michelins.