Efren Vasquez, seventh in this year's 125cc world championship, will ride in the replacement Moto3 category in 2012.
The 25-year-old Spaniard, team-mate to title runner-up Johann Zarco at Ajo Derbi in 2011, has signed to ride a Honda for the Laglisse team, which is stepping-up from the Spanish championship (and developing a MotoGP
"We had to make a decision, because to have a real chance next year we need to start work now,” said Vazquez.
“[Moto3] will be a new era, with new motorcycles, so there are many uncertainties.
"At the moment my priority is to get to know the team and have a first look at the motorcycle, although the bike is sure to evolve a lot before the first race.”
"Efren knows what it takes to finish on the World Championship podium and is used to battling for top honours,” stated Laglisse team boss Jaime Fernandez Aviles. “We will do all we can to ensure that he takes another step forward next year.”
Vasquez, who has four 125cc seasons under his belt, has taken two podiums per year for the past two seasons. His best championship ranking is fifth, in 2010.
Young countryman Adrian Martin is expected to be his team-mate.
Nico Terol and Zarco, first and second in the last 125cc championship, are both moving up to Moto2 next year - making this year's race-winning 125GP rookie Maverick Vinales (BQR FTR-Honda) the pre-season Moto3 favourite.