Ducati is in talks over the possibility of a link-up with the Belgian Alstare team for next year's World Superbike Championship.
The Italian manufacturer this week confirmed the news that it had parted ways with Althea Racing and now an association with Alstare, which ran Suzuki's official World Superbike effort until the end of 2011, is in the pipeline.
Alstare team principal Francis Batta has revealed he is in discussions with Ducati Corse.
Last year's world champion, Carlos Checa, will be retained by Ducati in 2013 to ride the Panigale 1199 and speculation suggests he could be joined in a potential Alstare Ducati line-up by Sylvain Guintoli, although the Frenchman's inclusion would be subject to the availability of funding.
Batta told GPone.com
: “There is still much to discuss but I hope to find an agreement. I cannot wait to return to Superbike and above all with Ducati.
“Sylvain is a fast guy that has proven to ride a Ducati and is a perfect match with Checa.
“But first we have to find the budget to field two riders.”
Guintoli impressed on the Effenbert Liberty Ducati until the team's collapse and has previously raced under the Alstare banner.
He controversially opted out of a deal to move to the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team, although the opportunity to join Ducati next season may go some way to explaining his sudden change of heart after initial reports suggested a link with Aprilia.
It is understood that negotiations between Batta and Ducati are due to conclude on Thursday.
Alstare had aspirations of running a factory MV Agusta team in World Supersport this year but the plans fell through when the Italian marque failed to obtain the necessary budget to field the F3.
Alstare Suzuki won the 2005 World Superbike title with Troy Corser
and later gave MotoGP
exile Max Biaggi