The confirmation that Valentino Rossi will return to Yamaha could be announced as soon as next week's Indianapolis Grand Prix, according to sources.
Speculation of whether Rossi will re-sign with Ducati or accept an offer to re-join the manufacturer he won four MotoGP World Championships with has dominated headlines in recent weeks, with the man himself giving relatively little away as to his decision.
However, according to Gazzetta dello Sport
, Rossi has already made up his mind to walk away from Ducati after two underwhelming seasons and return with Yamaha in a deal that the prominent Italian sports daily says will be confirmed on the eve of the Indianapolis event on August 15th.
Should Rossi's move to Yamaha be announced, it will conclude a short, but not terribly sweet relationship with Ducati, a marriage that has so far yielded just two podiums in 27 races.
The deal, which would see Rossi take the place of Ben Spies and partner current series leader Jorge Lorenzo, will also spark a flurry of changes across the grid.
Cal Crutchlow has been widely tipped to land Rossi's Ducati ride, but an impending deal hasn't been as forthcoming as expected, while a disillusioned Andrea Dovizioso and Ben Spies have been linked to quitting MotoGP altogether in favour of a World Superbike move.
As it stands, Lorenzo has re-signed with Yamaha, Repsol Honda has signed Marc Marquez to replace the retiring Casey Stoner and join Dani Pedrosa, while Nicky Hayden had his Ducati deal confirmed at the recent Laguna Seca round.