Rumours suggest that Alvaro Bautista has decided against graduating to MotoGP with the Aspar team next season and will instead join Suzuki.
In response, Italian website GPone.com
is reporting that Jorge Martinez 'Aspar' has signed fellow 250cc race winner Hector Barbera to pilot his Ducati Desmosedici GP10.
Bautista presently sits second in the 250cc World Championship, 15 points behind Hiroshi Aoyama, with two wins from six podiums so far this season.
Suzuki is the only factory team able to sign rookie riders, since it has no satellite outfit. Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen currently ride for Suzuki, but are yet to take a podium in 2009. Both are out of contract at the end of this season.
Suzuki has told Crash.net
that it will not comment on the rumours.
Barbera, who presently rides for the Pepe World Aprilia outfit, is fourth in the 250cc world championship, with three podiums, including one win. This year is Barbera's fifth in the quarter-litre class. His best full season to date was in 2007, when he finished fifth in the final standings.
Official confirmation of at least one of the deals could come during this weekend's Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno.
Reigning 250cc world champion Marco Simoncelli has already been confirmed at Honda Gresini for 2010, while Aoyama is also being linked to a MotoGP ride next season.
Gresini Honda's Toni Elias is another Spanish rider to be linked to the Aspar MotoGP deal.