There now seems little doubt that an agreement will be reached for the Sepang International Circuit, backed by Petronas, to set-up a new satellite Yamaha MotoGP team in 2019.

It's also clear that Dani Pedrosa and Franco Morbidelli are top of the proposed rider list.

Rookie Morbidelli sounds eager to make the move and, with the future of Marc VDS unclear, has little to lose by taking a chance on a brand-new project.

But Pedrosa - a factory Repsol Honda rider since his 2006 premier-class debut, who has lost his seat to Jorge Lorenzo for 2019 - is in a very different situation. 

The Spanish star must first decide if he wants to continue his racing career with another manufacturer - and take a risk with an unknown satellite team - or bow out at the end of this season.

Among those waiting for Pedrosa's decision is Bradley Smith, out of a ride with KTM.

"Still looking at as many options as we possibly can," Smith said at Assen. "A certain small dude is holding the rest of us up at the moment. Whatever he decides to do or doesn't decide to do.

"Clearly he is the number one pick, so once he decides what he wants to do, then the rest of us can follow. We just need to be patient until we hear something from him."

The Englishman, who admits he would consider retiring from full-time racing if no MotoGP race seat becomes available, confirmed his management has already been in contact about the Petronas project.

"I'd like to think that I'm second on the list, so we just have to wait and see what happens then. But what I think and reality is also a different story!"

Smith spent four seasons on a satellite Yamaha with the Tech3 team before joining KTM, claiming two podiums and finishing sixth overall in the 2015 world championship.

Wilco Zeelenberg is understood to be in talks to become team manager of the proposed Petronas/SIC squad, which looks set to get grid places from Aspar.
 

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