Runaway Moto3 championship leader Danny Kent could make the step up directly to MotoGP next season if negotiations with the Pramac Ducati team prove successful.
The Brit has been the revelation of the season in the lightweight class in 2015, taking five victories and holding a comfortable advantage of 56 points with eight races left to run.
Such form has made Kent a rider in demand – to the extent that the 21-year-old is in the running to follow in Jack Miller’s footsteps and graduate directly from Moto3 to the premier class next season.
His likely destination is thought to be Pramac Ducati, whose sporting director Paolo Ciabatti confirmed to Speedweek.com: “Yes, we are negotiating with Danny Kent.”
Kent would partner Danilo Petrucci at the Italian squad, with Yonny Hernandez thought likely to join the under-contract Hector Barbera at the Avintia squad in place of Mike di Meglio.
Alternatively, Kent is known to have offers to take the more conventional route of riding in Moto2 next year, including with his current Leopard team.
He has a year of experience in the intermediate class under his belt, having competed with Tech 3 in 2013 before dropping back to Moto3.
The possible arrival of Kent would bolster the number of British riders in MotoGP to four, or even five if reports of Moto2 frontrunner Sam Lowes having signed a pre-contract to join Aprilia in 2016 are to be believed.
Bradley Smith, while yet to be confirmed officially, is believed to be very close to a deal to remain at Tech 3, while Cal Crutchlow made it clear on Thursday he expects to remain at LCR Honda despite the fact the Monegasque team is likely to have to slim down to a single bike.
That could mean the Marc VDS squad ends up expanding to a second bike, making it likely that Scott Redding would remain on board, potentially alongside defending Moto2 champion Esteve Rabat.