According to the official MotoGP website, Dovizioso also confirmed that he will make the move with his existing team, which is likely to combine forces with the JiR outfit, currently backed by Konica Minolta and running Shinya Nakano.

21-year-old Dovizioso, the 2004 125cc World Champion, has spent his entire grand prix career on Hondas, even though Aprilia have built the bike to beat in recent seasons. The Italian, a winner of five 125cc races and four 250GPs, now looks set to be rewarded for that loyalty.

Dovi's deal means that the three leading 250GP riders are all set to move to MotoGP next season: Reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo is already confirmed at Fiat Yamaha, while second-in-the-championship Alex de Angelis is tipped to sign for Honda Gresini.

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Nakano, meanwhile, must now pin his hopes on securing a Honda Gresini seat - presumably at the expense of Toni Elias, who is known to have an offer from d'Antin Ducati.