While Honda remains the lone factory World Superbike team with seats still available for 2022, Team Manager Leon Camier has stated this could change very soon. 

Yamaha and Kawasaki have retained their current line-ups for next season, while Honda’s Alvaro Bautista is returning to Ducati alongside Michael Rinaldi, with the outgoing Scott Redding agreeing a move to BMW to become team-mates with Michael Van Der Mark.

Leon Haslam has been mentioned as a candidate to remain at HRC, however, a return to BSB is considered the most likely scenario for the 38 year-old at this stage, while another veteran rider Tom Sykes, who has also had discussions with the Japanese manufacturer looks set to return to the British series too.

While Camier was in no mood to mention names before the Portimao WorldSBK round got underway, grand prix riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge are considered the favourites, with an announcement to be made ‘very soon’ according to the former racer.  

Camier added: "I hear a lot of rumours going around with some very interesting names being mentioned, but I cannot say anything until we make the release. 

"Many riders have spoken with us so this is not just one rider for sure. We will make an announcement very soon."

Although early season struggles meant Honda were very much the fifth best team in World Superbike, recent rounds have seen the team with Bautista especially make huge strides forward. 

Back-to-back podiums for the Spaniard - his first of this season, led to Camier calling the former MotoGP rider’s performance ‘absolutely incredible’, while the improved showing is also down to upgrades being brought to the table in recent tests. Something that’s sure to make the 2022 seats even more appealing. 

"We’ve had some tests before Catalunya and Jerez so we were up to speed at these circuits," said Camier. 

"Also, we have had an upgrade with the bike and we are confident this is the way forward. We are confident of where we need to go with the bike, but also from a performance side, Alvaro [Bautista] is riding fantastic. Absolutely incredible! 

"He’s made some very good races coming from a little bit further back on the starting grid. We understand that he is making a good difference."