It might only be May, but the MotoGP silly season is well and truly underway, partly due to the fact that the top four riders – Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa being out of contract at the end of the season.
However, where the four will end up and how the grid will shape up is anyone's guess…
While Ducati may be keen to keep him, the smart money is on Stoner leaving Ducati at the end of the year, with one team insider insisting that his decision has already been taken. It appears that Honda is the most likely destination for the Aussie, with Ducati reportedly keen to snap up Rossi to replace him.
A switch to Honda for Stoner would likely see Pedrosa seeking alternative employment while, if sources are to be believed, Rossi already has an offer from Ducati on the table…
Would the Doctor really want to leave Yamaha though after his recent success? It's hard to see how any team would want to lose MotoGP's biggest star which means Lorenzo could be the man to move on – despite his back-to-back wins putting him top of the riders standings.
Lorenzo is another rider to have been linked with a move to Ducati in the past and Yamaha chief Lin Jarvis has said that the team won't fight over Lorenzo's retainer, even though they'd like him to stay.
If either Rossi or Lorenzo did leave, Yamaha could do a lot worse than look at satellite Yamaha rider Ben Spies to fill any vacancy that might arise.
It might be the rumour mill going into overdrive, but its clear that the make-up of the 2011 MotoGP grid will be a hot topic of discussion for a while yet.
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