Sito Pons has emerged as favourite for the final MotoGP grid place available for 2017.

KTM's arrival in the premier-class will raise the present grid to 23 entries, one short of the target figure.

As such IRTA, FIM and Dorna recently invited applications for the 24th place. The initial submission deadline is Friday 29th April.

But according to it will go to Pons.

The Spaniard currently runs the title-winning Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Moto2 team, but prior to 2006 he had a multi race-winning Honda 500cc/MotoGP project featuring the likes of Alex Barros, Loris Capirossi, Makoto Tamada and Max Biaggi.

Pons' potential choice of 2017 machinery is unclear, but next year's rules state that each manufacturer is obliged to supply two satellite machines if requested. Honda, Yamaha and Ducati already fulfil such criteria, but Suzuki and Aprilia currently have no satellite entries.

Speedweek also suggests Pons is keen to rehire its former Moto2 champion Pol Espargaro as the rider. The Spaniard's place at Tech 3 is safer following Bradley Smith's 2017 switch to KTM, but Espargaro may feel he has little room to progress within Yamaha - assuming Jorge Lorenzo stays.

As well as Espargaro, Maverick Vinales passed through the Pons Moto2 team on his way to MotoGP. Alex Rins (pictured with Pons) is tipped to continue the trend by joining Yamaha next season, although if Pons gets the MotoGP place maybe he could convince Rins to stay...



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