KTM 250GP star Hiroshi Aoyama is the latest rider to be linked with a Kawasaki MotoGP seat for 2007.

Team Green now looks all but certain to lose star rider Shinya Nakano to Konica Minolta Honda and so is seeking a replacement to ride alongside Randy de Puniet - with class veterans Max Biaggi, Alex Barros and Sete Gibernau all connected to the post.

However, on Thursday at Estoril, Red Bull KTM boss Harald Bartol - who wants to keep Aoyama for a second season - revealed that the double 2006 race winner is in talks with Kawasaki to ride its as-yet-unseen 800cc racer in next year's MotoGP World Championship.

Meanwhile Gibernau - fighting to keep his factory Ducati seat - and Honda rookie Casey Stoner, one of the riders left in contention to replace the Spaniard, both ducked questions about their future plans.

"I suppose we are nearer to a conclusion to the saga of what I'll be doing next season, because we are nearer the end of 2006!" smiled Casey.