Loris Capirossi will partner rookie Alvaro Bautista in Suzuki’s factory MotoGP squad next season.
MCN understands the Japanese factory will make an official announcement on the veteran Italian’s future at the next round of the 2009 world championship in Indianapolis.
A new deal for the triple world champion means Aussie Chris Vermeulen has been frozen out.
The former World Supersport champion, who claimed Suzuki’s only four-stroke MotoGP victory in Le Mans in 2007, has been in discussions with Tech 3 Yamaha and he is also weighing up options in the World Superbike paddock too.
Capirossi hinted at the Brno MotoGP test earlier this week that he was close to securing a new deal with Suzuki.
Factory team boss Paul Denning told MCN: "Our direction is pretty fixed and it’s a fairly logical direction which we should be able to announce shortly. It would keep development continuity and character-wise a guy that on the track wants to beat everybody and off the track can genuinely help Suzuki and help the team.
"People can make their own conclusion from that. A direction is fixed but I’m not going into details." Bautista’s deal to ride a factory GSV-R in 2010 was confirmed during last weekend’s Czech Republic GP in Brno.