Marco Melandri has revealed that he is expecting to know the exact format of Kawasaki's MotoGP future - if there is to be one - on Wednesday.
The Italian, who was planning to make a new start at Team Green after a disastrous 2008 season at Ducati, has a contract in place for 2009 and 2010 - but that counts for little if, following the factory's withdraw, there are no Kawasakis in MotoGP next year.
The only hope of ZX-RRs remaining in the premier-class is if they can be run by a 'privateer' team, something previous factory team boss Michael Bartholemy is attempting to put together with support from Dorna.
"On Wednesday I'll get a telephone call from Michael Bartholemy to say if he has arranged to run the 2009 bikes as a privateer team," La Gazzetta dello Sport
reports Melandri, a former MotoGP World Championship runner-up, as saying.
"Then on January 31st a proposal should arrive from Kawasaki saying what they will offer me; a full salary, a gratuity or nothing. I hope that the proposal isn't to go and work in a shop in Japan!" he joked.
Melandri, a five time grand prix winner with Honda, dismissed talk of a return to Fausto Gresini's satellite RCV team or a switch to the World Superbike Championship.
"I spoke with [Gresini] after reading that they might be able to offer me something, but they do not have the resources to run a third bike," said Melandri, who had made a promising start to his Kawasaki career during post season testing. "What is certain it is that I will not ride an uncompetitive motorcycle and I'm not thinking about World Superbikes. I'd rather sit out 2009 and return to MotoGP in 2010."
The future of John Hopkins, who also has a Kawasaki contract in place for 2009, is equally unknown.
Kawasaki's development team is testing the 2009 ZX-RR in Australia (see separate story).