Currently tied with Alex de Angelis as the top satellite Honda rider in the 2009 MotoGP World Championship, LCR Honda unsurprisingly hopes that Randy de Puniet will remain with the team for a third season in 2010.

The Frenchman has been one of the big improvers in 2009, illustrated by the fact that after 13 rounds of last season de Puniet sat just 16th in the championship, with 40 points, four DNFs and a best finish of sixth.

After the first 13 rounds of this season - and despite breaking his ankle after round ten - de Puniet holds joint eighth with de Angelis on 88 points, with one DNF and a best finish of third.

"This year we could reach the podium [for the first time since 2006, with Casey Stoner] and sometimes finish in the top five or top six, which is a very good result for us," team boss Lucio Cecchinello told the official MotoGP website.

"Of course in the last few races we have not had so much luck because of Randy's ankle, but in general we re happy.

"The bike is better this year and we are happy with the one tyre rule. As a rider, Randy is much more mature and we would like to continue with him for the future," Cecchinello confirmed.

However, like any still-to-sign rider, de Puniet is likely to have some form of interest in the undecided Tech 3 Yamaha rides, which on paper are the most competitive seats after those at the factory Yamaha, Honda and Ducati teams.