Pramac Ducati rider Aleix Espargaro is to switch from MotoGP to Moto2 next season, having signed with Sito Pons' team.
The 21-year-old Spaniard, the youngest rider in MotoGP, moved up into the premier class in the middle of last year as a substitute rider with Pramac, and made a strong enough impression to earn a full-season ride for 2010.
But although he has taken seven top-10 finishes so far this year, it became clear in recent weeks that Espargaro was unlikely to retain his seat and he will now step down a level after next week's season finale at Valencia. His younger brother Pol - a 125cc title contender - is also expected to race in Moto2 next year.
Pramac has already signed veteran Loris Capirossi for 2010 and is tipped to run Randy de Puniet alongside him, as part of a reshuffle which is set to see de Puniet's LCR Honda seat taken by Moto2 champion Toni Elias.
Mika Kallio, who started the year partnered with Espargaro at Pramac, has already parted with the team, with Carlos Checa returning from World Superbikes to take his place in the final two rounds.