With the factory Ducati rumours coming to nothing, Aleix Espargaro's options have narrowed slightly for MotoGP 2015.

Runaway leader of the new Open category for Forward Yamaha, the Spaniard is eager to continue his upward trajectory by securing Factory class machinery next year.

However Espargaro had to buy his way out of an Aspar contract in order to move to Forward and it seems that a similar bounty will be needed if he is to change teams again for 2015.

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Such a payment would not be much of a deterrent to an official factory team and - together with Espargaro's impressive form - provided some logic to the factory Ducati rumours.

Despite Ducati now confirming Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow there are still three factory team rides potentially available for Espargaro - the older brother of Pol - in MotoGP next season.

Of these, the Factory Yamaha seat can be discounted on the grounds that Jorge Lorenzo will re-sign sooner or later. The others are at Suzuki and Aprilia.

If Aprilia brings its official MotoGP return forward by a season, Espargaro could reunite with the manufacturer whose machinery he took to double CRT success at Aspar in 2012 and 2013.

But given the current back-of-the-grid form of the ART, Aprilia needs to make a big step and the safer 2015 factory option for Espargaro is at Suzuki.

Suzuki is definitely making its return to MotoGP next year and team manager Davide Brivio, who formerly led the title-winning Factory Yamaha team, has set his sights on securing one leading MotoGP rider.

Barring Lorenzo, sixth in the standings Espargaro - who claimed his first MotoGP pole at Assen and has finished a career best fourth twice this year - is the only rider in the championship top eight still available.

Moto3 champion and race winning Moto2 rookie Maverick Vinales is already believed to have signed for the second Suzuki seat.

In terms of factory class satellite seats, there seems to be no chance of an all-Espargaro line-up at Tech 3 Yamaha, leaving only the hotly contested satellite Hondas at Gresini and LCR.

However Scott Redding is leading the candidates for team-mate Alvaro Bautista's RC213V at Gresini - Bautista may move to Aprilia - with Moto3 title leader Jack Miller rumoured to be pencilled in for Stefan Bradl's RCV.


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Marquez wants to see him on a factory bike. So Honda...give LCR a real works bike with support and hire Aleix. Anything else will be at least second best as Honda factually has the best bike on the grid. (Unless you don't have the support like for example Bautista or Bradl)

Next best is the Tech 3 Yamaha and then the Works-Suzuki which is slower than the Ducati...at the moment.