By Dexter Fielding
Former MotoGP race winner Chris Vermeulen is being linked with the only remaining seat still officially open on the 2013 grid.
The IodaRacing team is planning to run a second BMW-Suter, alongside Danilo Petrucci, but the identity of the rider remains 'to be confirmed' - Roberto Rolfo's reported deal having fallen through.
Vermeulen rode the Suter-BMW at Le Mans this year, scene of his MotoGP win for Suzuki, in place of the injured Colin Edwards at Forward Racing, finishing in 17th.
30-year-old Vermeulen has been without a permanent ride since the end of 2011, following two injury blighted seasons with the factory Kawasaki WSBK team.
While Vermeulen is keen to return, Ioda are said to be interested in using his experience to help develop the bike. Ioda will be the only team running Suter-BMWs in 2013 with Forward switching to FTR-Kawasakis.
Suter marketing director, Andreas Leuthe fears that Vermeulen "could be too expensive", but Vermeulen told Speedweek.de
: "I won't ask for a high wage" adding: "I want to race again and get another chance".
Should Vermeulen and Ioda agree terms, he would be the second Australian on the full-time 2013 grid, alongside rookie Bryan Staring (Gresini CRT).