250cc World Championship leader Hiroshi Aoyama will join quarter-litre rivals Alvaro Bautista, Marco Simoncelli and Hector Barbera in moving to MotoGP next season.

The Japanese, who holds a 26 point lead in the 2009 standings with three rounds to go, has been rewarded for putting Honda on target to claim the final 250cc crown by being handed an RC212V ride for the 2010 season.

Aoyama will ride for Swiss 125 and 250 team owner Daniel Epp.

"We are pleased to announce that we have completed a deal to run a Honda RC212V in the MotoGP class in the 2010 season," said Epp, best known for running Thomas Luthi with Emmi-Caffe Latte backing.

"After winning the world championship in 2005 with Tom L?thi on the 125cc Honda, it's a great pleasure for me to join up again with Honda.

"Now, after all these years we have finally been able to achieve our dream of presenting a MotoGP project. We are proud to become part of the premier class of motorcycle grand prix racing."

Epp will announce further details of his MotoGP project at the final round of the season in Valencia.

Honda and MotoGP have been without a Japanese rider since Yuki Takahashi was dropped by Scot Honda, for financial reasons, earlier in the year.

Takahashi's exit marked the first time that a premier-class grand prix has taken place without a Japanese rider since the final race of 1991.

It is not yet clear if Aoyama's ride means an extra Honda will be on the 2010 grid, or if it will be at the expense of the Scot Honda team, which runs Aoyama in 250 and brought in the better-funded Gabor Talmacsi to replace Takahashi.

2010 MotoGP World Championship - confirmed line-up:

1. Valentino Rossi ITA Fiat Yamaha
2. Jorge Lorenzo SPA Fiat Yamaha
3. Casey Stoner AUS Ducati Marlboro
4. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Marlboro
5. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda
6. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Repsol Honda
7. Loris Capirossi ITA Rizla Suzuki
8. Alvaro Bautista SPA Rizla Suzuki*
9. Marco Melandri ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini
10. Marco Simoncelli ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini*
11. Hector Barbera SPA Aspar Ducati*
12. Mika Kallio FIN Pramac Ducati
13. Randy de Puniet FRA LCR Honda
14. Colin Edwards USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
15. Ben Spies USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3*
16. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Epp Honda*

* rookie