Cal Crutchlow says he is in "deep discussions" with Ducati about a possible move to the factory squad from the 2013 MotoGP season.
Crutchlow, currently riding for Yamaha's satellite Tech 3 squad, lies fifth in the championship, having finished fourth on two occasions and never outside the top eight. His aggressive riding approach has also earned plaudits, and could prove a harmonious marriage with Ducati given its similarities to Casey Stoner's style.
Speaking ahead of the German Grand Prix, Crutchlow said that he wanted to be at a factory team, making Ducati a logical choice.
"We are in deep discussions with them [Ducati] because at the moment there is nothing for me at Yamaha," Crutchlow said. "I could ride for Tech 3 again but it would mean not being on a factory machine, and you're not going to win a world title not on a factory machine, it's as simple as that."
Crutchlow said the fact factory deals are usually two years also influenced his decision, saying it made a future opening at another factory team an even more distant prospect.
"Whoever is going to be signing with the factory teams is doing two year deals, so that would mean I can't be with a factory team for the next two years," he said. "Maybe we are looking quite high, but if I didn't want to win the championship I wouldn't be here. I think [winning the championship] next year is unrealistic, but maybe the following year. There is a strong link with another manufacturer, [but] at the moment we don't make any decisions."
Should Crutchlow seal a move, it would likely spell the end of 2006 MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden's four-year spell with the manufacturer. The American has taken five podiums in that time.