Suzuki has confirmed Fonsi Nieto is working on a deal that will see him back on the World Superbike grid in 2009, possibly riding an Alstare prepared machine.
The Spaniard has been the subject of speculation during the winter off-season after being omitted from Suzuki's condensed line-up, but talks about him acquiring a GSX-R1000 for this year's campaign have apparently reached a conclusive stage.
Although an announcement was mooted for the pre-season test at Portimao, a spokesman confirmed to Crash.net
that Nieto's deal consists of two options for 2009.
One includes him running his own team, but riding a bike that will be prepared, repaired and set-up by Alstare, while the other would see everything assembled and developed through his own team.
While the specification could be closer to the Celani Suzuki that Karl Muggeridge will ride in 2009, rather than that of confirmed Alstare riders Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama, available funds will decide which option Nieto chooses. Even so, Nieto, who has a high profile in his native Spain, is expected to come with substantial backing from Pepephone.
Nieto has been quoted this week as confirming to Spanish reporters that will be on the grid for 2009 and mentioned he has been in talks with team manager Francis Batta during this process.