Randy de Puniet could be about to follow in the wheel-tracks of Carlos Checa, Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri by switching from MotoGP to the World Superbike Championship after rumours linked him with a return to the Kawasaki stable.
The Frenchman made his MotoGP debut with Kawasaki in 2006, scoring a handful of notable results, including a podium finish (one of only two in his MotoGP career) at Motegi, while a 2010 campaign on the LCR Honda yielded his first overall top ten finish in the standings.
However, a subsequent switch to Pramac Ducati for 2011 is proving to be somewhat ill-fated, with de Puniet currently last of the 17 full-time riders in the current standings having finished just four of the ten races.
As such, the 30-year-old is reported to be considering his options, with French publication Motosblog
suggesting he is being courted by Kawasaki as the high-profile replacement for Chris Vermeulen, whose injury woes are likely to prevent a contract extension with the manufacturer.
With Checa, Biaggi and Melandri covering the top three in the current WSBK standings, de Puniet is likely to fancy his chances against his former rivals, though it remains to be seen whether Kawasaki will be able to negotiate potential wage demands.