Aprilia could be considering two new MotoGP riders next season with rumours that Aleix Espargaro is in discussions to join the team.
Espargaro's Suzuki future has been uncertain since the signing of Andrea Iannone, in the immediate aftermath of Maverick Vinales' decision to join Yamaha.
While Espargaro would offer continuity, he was unhappy at how Iannone's arrival was handled
and concerned by reports linking Moto2 stars Alex Rins and Johann Zarco to the remaining factory GSX-RR seat.
As a result, Espargaro is unsurprisingly talking with several other teams while awaiting the Suzuki decision.
Given that Marc Marquez will stay at Honda, the only other 2017 factory seats are at Aprilia or KTM... and KTM may not be an option since Aleix's younger brother Pol is now heavily linked to that ride.
Hence Aprilia could be Espargaro's first choice, should the Suzuki verdict go against him.
Moto2 title leader Sam Lowes is Aprilia's only confirmed signing for 2017. Present riders Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl are/were thought to be fighting over the remaining seat.
Should Espargaro make an Aprilia move he would return to the manufacturer with which he claimed the now defunct 'CRT' class title in 2012 and 2013, riding for the Aspar team.
Aprilia rolled out an all-new version of its RS-GP, to replace the previous Superbike-based machine, at the start of this year. The Italian manufacturer declined to comment on the Espargaro rumours.