Following the renewed success of ex-MotoGP stars Carlos Checa, Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri on the World Superbike stage, their former rivals Colin Edwards and Loris Capirossi could be about to follow suit in 2012.
With negotiations for the 2012 season now very much underway throughout the motorcycling classes, attention has turned to the likes of Edwards and Capirossi, whose MotoGP careers are believed to be most under threat from a bevy of young talent breaking through.
Indeed, Edwards's Tech 3 Yamaha team has been subject to speculation in recent weeks, with the likes of Stefan Bradl, Bradley Smith and Eugene Laverty all linked to his seat, though the American's good relationship Herve Poncharal means an extension isn't entirely out of the question.
Even so, Edwards – WSBK champion in 2000 and 2002 – revealed to GPWeek
that he has had contact with BMW Motorrad specifically, though it isn't his only potential option.
“I've spoken to them. There's an idea… but there's also another idea. We'll wait and see.”
Edwards isn't the only rider seemingly considering the switch from MotoGP to Superbikes, with Capirossi – the most experienced MotoGP rider of all-time – rumoured to be choosing between that and retirement.
Buoyed by the success of 2011 WSBK championship leader Checa, who at 38 years old is the same age as Capirossi, speculation is mounting that he could join Ducati in Superbikes. Such a move would suggest Ducati could be considering a full return next season having substantially reduced its factory involvement in 2011.
Indeed, Capirossi, who is enduring a difficult MotoGP season with Pramac Ducati, had been tipped to confirm his retirement at Brno, but instead claimed an announcement will come next month at Misano, prompting rumours that he will continue racing into 2012.
Together with Edwards and Capirossi, Randy de Puniet has also been linked with a move to Superbikes, though the Frenchman went on the record to claim he would only consider it if he was paired with a race-winning team.