Andrea Dovizioso is close to reaching a final decision on whether he will ride for LCR Honda next season or partner Cal Crutchlow in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad.
The Italian told MCN his decision on whether to continue his long association with Honda or move to rivals Yamaha would be taken before the end of this week.
The former 125GP world champion has spent his entire Grand Prix career with Honda and he admitted after finishing fifth in an incident-packed Japanese round at the Twin Ring Motegi that leaving would be a big wrench.
He told MCN: "It is difficult because my feeling with Honda now is the best compared to the last nine years because now I am fighting for the victory. It is hard but it depends on a lot of situations and right now I haven’t decided anything."
He said there was a big temptation to move to Herve Poncharal’s Tech 3 squad to try and build a relationship with a different manufacturer.
Dovizioso would sign a one-year deal with Tech 3 with the hope of impressing in the inaugural 1000cc world championship to secure a move to Yamaha’s factory squad in 2013.
He said: "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."
Dovizioso saw a great chance of claiming victory in yesterday’s Twin Ring Motegi race ruined by a jump start. He led after a mistake by Casey Stoner but had to complete a pitlane ride through and he eventually finished fifth after failing to hold off compatriot Marco Simoncelli, who was also guilty of a jump start.
For Dovizioso and Simoncelli’s thoughts on their missed podium chance in Japan, see the October 5 issue of MCN.