At the start of the Phillip Island race weekend earlier this month it looked a certainty that new Moto2 world champion Toni Elias would return to the Pramac Ducati squad and Randy de Puniet would retain his LCR Honda slot for 2011.
By the end of the Australian GP weekend it looked like the pair would engage in a dramatic job swap, with Elias taking de Puniet’s place at LCR and the Frenchman joining Loris Capirossi in Ducati’s satellite squad.
A source said: “Toni was really close to Pramac but Lucio (Cecchinello) has been pushing really hard to get him, so it looks like Randy will now go to Ducati.”
Capirossi signed a new two-year deal to join the Pramac squad in Sepang earlier this month.
In other transfer news, former 250GP world champion Hiroshi Aoyama will move to the Gresini Honda squad in 2011 to partner Italian Marco Simoncelli. Aoyama will move following the collapse of the Interwetten Honda outfit.
That follows Honda's decision to go ahead again with a planned three-rider factory effort featuring Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso.