It has been formally announced that 125cc championship contenders Hector Barbera and Jorge Lorenzo will graduate to the 250cc world championship in 2005 with the factory Fortuna Honda team.

Both riders are due to ride their new machine, the Honda RSW 250, for the first time today (Wednesday) at Valencia - but the future of the men it is assumed they will be replacing, Toni Elias and Roberto Rolfo, remains unconfirmed.

The former GP winners, who finished fourth (Elias) and eighth (Rolfo) in the 2004 championship, with a win apiece, have both been linked with a 2005 MotoGP ride: Elias has long been tipped to ride for the Tech 3 Yamaha team, thanks partly to the strong backing of Fortuna, while Rolfo's options appear less clear.

The Italian, who finished runner-up in the 2003 250cc world championship, could potentially line-up alongside Elias at Herve Poncharal's outfit, but may also use his long relationship with HRC (which, admittedly, appears to have been strained this season) to try and claim an RCV ride.

Poncharal has stated on several occasions this year that his team could become a MotoGP 'training ground' for future Yamaha factory riders. Both Elias and Rolfo would fit with this description.