Alex de Angelis could be thrown a lifeline to stay in MotoGP next year thanks to help from his own country, the tiny Republic of San Marino.
The 25-year-old will not be retained by the Gresini Honda team next year, despite an impressive second half of the season that saw him score a second place and two fourths, and his chances of finding a ride in the premier class looked slim. But San Marino's Secretary of Sport and Tourism, Fabio Berardi, has pledged to support de Angelis in a bid to find a deal with the Cirano Mularoni's Scot Honda squad, which is itself based in the diminutive nation.
"In order to race, nowadays, you can't just pick a team: you must also consider all the sponsors that support the move," Berardi told San Marino RTV television. "Now there is this lucky encounter with Cirano Mularoni's team, so it would be a full San Marino effort. Obviously it would be very interesting to have a rider and team from San Marino using a MotoGP bike named after the Republic.
"During a difficult time for the country's 2010 balance sheet, we can't think of making the sort of contributions that haven't even been made in previous years, so we must try to facilitate the encounter between the sponsorship world and the sport. I'm confident, while knowing that it's an uphill struggle because of the current economic crisis."
The Scot Honda team currently employs former 125cc champion Gabor Talmacsi, who has disappointed in the ten races he has done since replacing Yuki Takahashi.