Despite losing the 250cc World Championship to Dani Pedrosa, when he fell from the lead of the Australian Grand Prix last Sunday, LCR Aprilia team owner Lucio Cecchinello says that Casey Stoner still has a "50-50" chance of moving up to MotoGP next season.

"Yamaha gave an offer to Casey and said to Casey, somehow we will find a position in one of our satellite teams," Cecchinello told Australian Motorcycle News.

But the MotoGP move appears to centre around Cecchinello gaining the budget to move his existing team up to the premier-class, where he would run Stoner in a one man outfit supported by Yamaha.

"I didn't find the budget until now because to run a MotoGP team is a huge budget, much more than a 250cc," said the former racer. "That's why I'm working very hard and pushing my sponsors to help me. At the moment I can say that 50 per cent I can carry out this project and 50 per cent I cannot."

Stoner already has the backing of existing factory Yamaha rider Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi's crew chief Jerry Burgess for a MotoGP move - and Stoner reportedly hopes to work with the latter as a factory Yamaha rider in 2007, should Rossi retire at the end of next season.

Of Stoner's current rivals, Pedrosa and Randy de Puniet are already confirmed as moving to MotoGP next year. Pedrosa will ride for the factory Honda team while de Puniet has signed for Kawasaki.