Japanese rider Shinya Nakano is poised to clinch a deal to partner Max Biaggi in Aprilia’s new World Superbike squad in 2009, MCN can reveal.
Nakano has been frozen out of MotoGP after the San Carlo Honda squad released him to make way for Toni Elias.
The collapse of a third Kawasaki deal with Jorge Martinez during last weekend’s Sepang GP in Malaysia ended Nakano’s hopes of a last-minute reprieve.
Late moves by Kawasaki to salvage the deal have proven to be unsuccessful so far, and MCN understands Nakano can't keep an interested factory team in World Superbikes hanging on for an answer on his future much longer. That team is Aprilia, with Japanese sourcess confirming to MCN that the former 250GP title runner-up is in talks with the Italian factory.
Nakano’s failure to clinch a MotoGP deal looked like he might have to take up a test and development rider role with HRC.
But Aprilia is desperate for two experienced riders to lead its factory WSB assault in 2009.
Rumours that Gianluca Montiron, current boss of the JIR Scot Honda MotoGP squad, will run Aprilia’s World Superbike assault, has added to the speculation about Nakano.
Montiron signed Nakano for his Konica Minolta-backed Honda squad in 2007.