UPDATE: Speaking to the official World Superbike website after a third place in Saturday's Lausitzring race, Nicky Hayden confirmed "the opportunity is there" to replace Jack Miller at Aragon.

The American added: "There are a couple of things to work out. If it happens it'll be fun to have a go at MotoGP again, of course."

Everything we have heard points to the #69 being on the Marc VDS Honda next weekend...

Nicky Hayden looks set to return to the MotoGP World Championship as a replacement for Jack Miller at Aragon.

The 2006 title winner, now competing in World Superbike, had been ready to step in for Miller at Silverstone - before the Australian was declared fit to ride after recovering sufficiently from back injuries at the Red Bull Ring.

But lingering hand injuries sustained in the same accident saw Miller withdraw from last Sunday's Misano race - and strong rumours suggest the Assen winner has ruled out returning to his Marc VDS Honda at Aragon.

Although yet to be officially unconfirmed, it seems Miller needs more time off the bike to allow the hand to heal and by sacrificing Aragon he would be fit for the three flyaway races that follow - including his home Phillip Island event.

Hayden - who took 28 podiums, including three wins, during his grand prix career - claimed his first WorldSBK win at Sepang and is currently sixth in the world championship.

The last time the #69 rode a factory-class RCV (and Michelin tyres) was at the Repsol Honda team in 2008, having steered Open class machines for the Aspar team in 2014 and 2015, following five seasons at Ducati.

Hayden would be the second World Superbike regular on the Aragon MotoGP grid, with Alex Lowes again replacing Bradley Smith at Tech 3 Yamaha...

By Peter McLaren