Fonsi Nieto looks to have closed the door on a return to the World Superbike Championship after revealing he has been signed as a test rider for L'Oreal LaGlisse's Moto2 effort.
The Spaniard was seemingly nearing a deal to run a privateer Suzuki in this year's WSBK series, but now looks set to turn his attentions elsewhere after it was confirmed he will spend 2009 testing, and possibly racing, a Moto2 bike.
A former 250cc World Championship runner-up, Nieto begins testing the LaGlisse bike at Jarama soon, although his first public outing won't be until he ventures onto track at Valencia.
The plan is for Nieto to spend 2009 developing the new 600cc bike, which replaces the 250GP class from 2011, and then race it in the CEV Spanish Championship, possibly this year.
For LaGlisse principal Jaime Fernandez-Aviles, the acquisition of Nieto is a major boost for their team.
“Fonsi is a very strong rider and will be fundamental to the development of our bike, and we aren't ruling out the idea of running him in the entire CEV season this year,” he told the official MotoGP website.
Nieto last competed on the premier stage in 2007 when he deputised for Olivier Jacque at Kawasaki and finished sixth in the 2008 World Superbike standings with one win at Losail. It isn't immediately clear whether Nieto could continue his World Superbike plans alongside his Moto2 project.