As far as can be determined, and depending on things like performance-related clauses and what kind of renewal options are in place, only three riders look to have a 2010 MotoGP contract.

Those three are reigning six-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi (staying at Fiat Yamaha), 2007 world champion Casey Stoner (staying at Ducati) and 2008 250cc world champion Marco Simoncelli (moving to MotoGP with Honda Gresini).

With Aspar moving up to MotoGP with a one-rider Ducati team, and assuming that Hayate will not continue next year, that leaves 14 seats undecided: Three at Yamaha, all five at Honda, four at Ducati and both seats at Suzuki.

The key to the rider market remains Rossi's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who is thought to be nearing a decision on whether to stay at Yamaha or move to Honda.

Should Lorenzo stay at Yamaha, fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa's Repsol Honda seat looks a lot safer, although Pedrosa insists that his future is in no way linked with what Lorenzo does. Andrea Dovizioso's debut victory at Donington Park will also clearly help his chances of remaining at HRC.

Hayate's likely exit looks set to send Marco Melandri to the second Gresini seat, while 250cc title contender Alvaro Bautista is tipped to graduate with Aspar team to MotoGP.

More official announcements are expected around the Brno race weekend, after the summer break ends, from August 14-16.


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