Moto2 rookie Joan Mir had already been mentioned in connection with a 2019 Repsol Honda MotoGP ride prior to the French Grand Prix.

But by the conclusion of the Le Mans weekend - where Mir secured his first Moto2 podium in only his fifth start - it became apparent that three different MotoGP factories are now 'really interested' in signing the Moto3 champion.

Asked about his future following the third-place finish, the Marc VDS rider replied: "This is something one person here can answer..."

That person is Mir's manager Paco Sanchez, who later confirmed:

"[Joan] wants to move to MotoGP with a good team, a good bike. This is the objective. But we need to close [a deal]. It's not easy because there are some really big names still in play - Jorge, Dani, Andrea - and only a few good bikes."

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Although Mir is in the first year of a multi-year deal with Marc VDS, most Moto2 contracts allow the rider to be released if he gets a factory MotoGP offer.

While the initial Mir rumours were of a Repsol Honda seat in place of Dani Pedrosa - Sanchez would not comment on talk of a pre-contract with Honda - the hot speculation at Le Mans was that Suzuki wants to place Mir alongside Alex Rins.

"The only thing I can say is that Honda, Ducati and Suzuki are really interested in him," commented Sanchez. "He is near the top of the list of all these three factories. We hope to close [an agreement] as soon as possible."

The level of interest means Mir is "maybe 90%" likely to be in MotoGP next year.

"There are a lot of options, but until the contract is signed it is not over and as I said there are lots of big names still in play," Sanchez reiterated.

Competition for the Suzuki seat is thought to come not just from current rider Andrea Iannone, but also the likes of triple MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo, currently weighing up his Ducati future.

But with Iannone's results below expectations, Suzuki is said to be keen on signing a young rookie to follow in the footsteps of Rins and Maverick Vinales rather than another big name. Sanchez is also the personal manager of Vinales.

Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio confirmed: "We have two ways to see our rider line-up for next year: We can go for an experienced rider or maybe again for a young rider."

But why the rush for Mir to move to MotoGP?

Sanchez explained that in an ideal world it would be better to stay for a second season in Moto2.

But the two-year nature of factory MotoGP contracts means that, if Mir remains in the intermediate class next season, he would not get another shot at joining a factory MotoGP team until 2021.

"I think he is ready to go," said Sanchez. "The problem is if he spends one more year in Moto2, it will [actually] be two more years and I think it's too much.

"Also next year the new Triumph engines will arrive and you don't know which chassis will work best and it's a high risk.

"People say, 'don't go too quickly, be calm' but… it is better to lose one year learning in MotoGP and be ready the second year in the right place.

"Joan is 20 years old, he is not 16. He has learned a lot and he always trains with a 1000cc bike, so for him the weight of the bike is not new.

"I think he's ready."

Mir's Moto2 team-mate Alex Marquez is thought to have a MotoGP option with the troubled Marc VDS team, alongside Franco Morbidelli, for 2019.

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