Fausto Gresini, owner of the MotoGP squad which bears his name, says he wants to keep Alvaro Bautista for 2013.
With every works ride for next year now settled following Andrea Dovizioso's move to Ducati - and with Tech 3 then confirming Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith the Gresini seat now represents the best opportunity for a competitive 2013 ride.
As a consequence the team has been linked with a score of riders, among them current Yamaha works rider Ben Spies.
Gresini insists nothing is decided, but did indicate that he wants to stick with Alvaro Bautista, new at the team this year, in order to see what the Spaniard can deliver in a second term.
"At this time we have not yet defined our plans for next year...I can say that I am very happy with Alvaro and I am not hiding the fact that I would like to continue with him," Gresini said.
"He is a rider that I respect a lot, who I think has great potential.
"I do not like to give a rider just one year, because it would be limiting. It is clear that in the market it is difficult to know what will happen, but the goal is to carry out the project that started this season, which I care a lot about.
"On the other hand, it is important to always have an alternative and you cannot just work with one rider, but that's part of the game, the riders do it, and so do the team.
"We talked with Spies and Redding, but we also spoke with Alvaro and I think this is the important thing. Nothing is decided."