Following enquires, believes it is increasingly likely that Makoto Tamada will, as rumoured, leave the Pramac/Camel Honda team to ride a seventh Honda RC211V next season - on Michelin tyres.

Tamada won his and Bridgestone's first two MotoGP races this year, his second season of MotoGP competition, piloting a satellite spec RCV run by the Pramac team, who were using a grid slot rented from Sito Pons. Both Pramac and Pons operated under the Camel Honda banner.

However, Pons looks set to revert to a full two rider set-up next season - expected to consist of Troy Bayliss and Alex Barros - while Bridgestone, who recently announced that Ducati will join Kawasaki and Suzuki in using their tyres in 2005, appears unworried at losing Tamada, its one and only Honda connection.

Meanwhile, the Pramac team are being linked to a possible take over of Aprilia's premier-class effort - leaving Tamada, arguably Japan's best hope of a first premier-class world champion, potentially out of an RCV ride.

However, salvation is now expected in the form of HRC supplying a seventh race machine - especially for Tamada - with class-leading tyre supplier Michelin set to back what could well be a formidable new team.

But since you can't just set-up a team and race, the new outfit will - like Pramac in the past - still need to rent a grid entry from someone.

Confirmation of how such obstacles will be overcome - plus who Tamada's team personnel will be - could come in the next few days...