Runaway World Superbike championship leader Neil Hodgson fuelled rumours that he will switch to MotoGP next year by spectating at today's first qualifying session at Assen.

The Ducati Fila rider has been making increasingly obvious hints lately that after this season, where he is expected to wrap up the WSBK title with relative ease, he will make the step up to GP competition - to test himself against the very best.

The most likely ride for him would be on a 'privateer' Ducati Desmosedici - as he's contracted to Ducati -with some even tipping Hodgson's former employers GSE Racing, who currently field Chris Walker and James Toseland in World Superbikes, to run the #100.

There is almost no chance he would find a place with the factory Marlboro backed team next year, as both Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss are not only impressing, but are thought to have 'watertight' two year contracts.

However, it's not simply a case of setting up a team to run Hodgson, or any third Ducati, next year. The franchise system in MotoGP means that only a limited number of grid slots are available, so any additional team would almost certainly need to purchase an existing grid place - or tie up with a team (as Pramac did with Sito Pons).

Watch this space...