With Marco Simoncelli returning to 250GP duty this weekend, Aprilia is rumoured to have snared Yamaha's newly crowned British Superbike champion Leon Camier to ride alongside Max Biaggi at this weekend's Magny-Cours World Superbike round.
With Shinya Nakano's neck injury unlikely to have made a significant improvement in just one week, it was always expected that Aprilia would once again need a substitute for the penultimate round of the championship - but most expected test rider Alex Hofmann.
However Camier, who wrapped up his first BSB title (in his third year) during last Sunday's penultimate Silverstone round, is now hot favourite for the ride - although there has not yet been official confirmation from either Camier or Aprilia.
Whilst Camier's talent makes him an obvious candidate - the 23-year-old has won a record 17 of the 23 BSB races this year - the fact that he still has one round remaining as a GSE/Yamaha rider, the Oulton Park BSB finale on October 9-11, had made such a switch seem unlikely.
Should Camier take the ride it will confirm that his future with Yamaha is far from certain. A WSBK seat for 2010 has been rumoured, but Yamaha has no shortage of potential R1 riders and Camier has also been linked with a Moto2 move.
Reigning 250cc world champion Simoncelli made a stunning WSBK debut last weekend at Imola - qualifying in eighth, falling from fifth place in race one then barging past Biaggi on his way to third in race two.
Camier made his WSBK debut as a wild-card earlier this season at Donington Park, for Airwaves Yamaha, where he fought forwards to 13th and sixth on race day after qualifying a lowly 17th.