Suzuki has confirmed that it has signed 250cc championship contender Alvaro Bautista on a two-year contract to race in MotoGP.
The 24-year-old Spaniard had been linked to the team for a couple of weeks, and while Suzuki has not specified whose seat he will take, it is expected to be that of Chris Vermeulen who has struggled for form on the GSV-R in 2009.
Bautista, who won the 2006 125cc World Championship, currently lies second in the 250cc points standings with two victories and seven podium finishes - including a third place in Sunday's Czech Grand Prix. He has a total of 16 wins at world level with eight in each of the 125 and 250 categories.
Speculation persists that Bautista will be joined at Suzuki by veteran rider Loris Capirossi who is believed to be close to signing a one-year extension with the team.