Andrea Dovizioso has turned down the chance to ride a factory-backed RC213V machine for LCR Honda to agree a deal with Tech 3 Yamaha in 2012.
The Italian informed Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal of his decision yesterday (Friday) and an official announcement is expected on Monday morning.
A contract is then likely to be signed during next weekend’s Australian MotoGP round at Phillip Island.
The Tech 3 squad was locked in talks with Dovizioso and Spaniard Alvaro Bautista, while Eugene Laverty was also a candidate following the demise of Yamaha’s factory World Superbike squad.
MCN understands that current factory Suzuki rider Alvaro Bautista had already rejected the Tech 3 bid when Dovizioso agreed to a one-year contract that will see the former 125GP world champion join Cal Crutchlow in 2012.
Dovizioso, who is currently third in the world championship standings, hinted to MCN during the recent Japanese Grand Prix that he would switch to Yamaha.
Although he was offered full factory support by HRC to move to Lucio Cecchinello’s Honda squad, Dovizioso wants to try and build a relationship with a different manufacturer.
He told MCN: “Sure I think about this. When you’re fast you have a lot of possibilities and if I am fast with Yamaha next year then sure I will have the chance to be in the factory team and this is the target of every rider.”