The biggest rumour from the Portuguese Grand Prix was that Loris Capirossi will join the new Marlboro Ducati MotoGP team next year - and as a result current West Honda Pons teammate Alex Barros will get the sole RCV ride for the final four races of the season.

Capirossi apparently no longer wants to work with Honda, after the NSR500's he and Barros have campaigned so far this season appeared to be of a lower spec to HRC favourite Daijiro Kato's, despite expectations that the top privateer team would have 'A' spec machines from the Japanese marque.

The Italian is also said to have been disappointed that Kato was given an RCV before the Pons team, despite Barros and Capirossi leading the two-stroke challenge almost all year.

Capirossi's possible Ducati deal would provide the Italian marque with a popular Italian rider to partner Troy Bayliss in the team's maiden year of MotoGP competition.

Fellow Italian Max Biaggi had looked the most likely to join the multiple WSBK championship winning team, and it is not known if the rumours surrounding Capirossi are merely designed to put pressure on the current Marlboro Yamaha star to sign.

Should 'little Loris' - who is also thought to have had an offer from Kawasaki - leave Sito Pons' team it will almost certainly mean that Barros, who impressed on a four stroke at the Suzuka 8hrs, will receive the coveted RCV ride for the end of this year, as previously predicted by Crash.Net:

"It looks like I will get (the RCV ride) for the first two races at Motegi and Sepang," Barros told Motorcycle News. "I don't know what happens after that, but if Loris is leaving then hopefully I'll get it for the other two as well."

The Brazilian's cause will also be helped by his likely decision to stay with the team for next season, providing the finance can be found.

"I'm not talking to anyone else (about next year) and I should know in Rio," confirmed Barros.

The next round of the MotoGP World Championship, the Brazilian Grand Prix, takes place on September 21st, at Rio.



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