Suzuki will condense down to two bikes for the 2009 World Superbike Championship, Crash.net can reveal, a decision that leaves Fonsi Nieto on the sidelines.

Nieto, who only joined the Alstare Suzuki team from Kawasaki this season, was expected to be retained by the team in 2009 after an encouraging year that saw him win on only his second outing at Losail on the way to sixth in the standings.

However, serious doubts about his future were raised when Suzuki began testing the new GSX-R1000 K9 with only Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama.

It has now been confirmed to Crash.net that Neukirchner and Kagayama will form the Alstare Suzuki line-up in 2009, a decision that leaves Nieto with no chance of a manufacturer ride with any team next season.

Despite the setback, it is rumoured that Nieto, who came with prominent backing from Spain, is now chasing a privateer berth aboard another Suzuki. This could come with some degree of backing from the factory team in a deal similar to what Neukirchner enjoyed in 2007.