Suzuki will confirm they have signed Spaniard Alvaro Bautista later on today.
The 250GP world championship contender shunned the chance to join Jorge Martinez’s Aspar Ducati MotoGP squad to accept a deal from Suzuki.
Suzuki boss Paul Denning has been a long-time admirer of the former world 125GP champion and negotiations have been at an advanced stage for several weeks.
Most thought Bautista would move to Ducati though with current Aprilia 250 boss Martinez, but instead he has opted to ride a factory GSV-R machine.
Bautista’s deal leaves veteran Italian Loris Capirossi and Aussie Chris Vermeulen vying for the remaining Suzuki slot.
Capirossi is favourite to sign an extended deal with Vermeulen linked to moves to Tech 3 Yamaha and LCR Honda. MCN understands that Suzuki has also been locked in talks with British GP winner Andrea Dovizioso, who was a target for Denning in 2008.
The Italian though is closing in on a new two-year deal with Honda’s official factory team.
With Bautista clinching a deal to join Suzuki, Martinez has instead signed Hector Barbera.
Toni Elias was also a contender but his wage demands are understood to have put Martinez off.