James Toseland, the man currently holding a commanding lead in the World Superbike Championship, is a man in demand. As reported earlier, Toseland is likeliest candidate for the Ten Kate MotoGP team, which is expected to compete the 2008 season, presumably on Hondas. And now, Eurosport are reporting that Ducati want JT for the Pramac d'Antin team.
One interesting aspect of this offer is that Toseland turned down the Pramac d'Antin ride for this year, after speaking to fellow former World Superbike champion Neil Hodgson. Hodgson's advice was that the only way to be competitive in MotoGP was aboard a factory ride, or something very, very close, and at the end of the 2006 season, the Pramac team looked like being anything but competitive, with Alex Hofmann and Jose Luis Cardoso struggling around at the back of the field, only relieved when Ilmor joined the series for the last two races. This season, though, the d'Antin team has much better equipment, with bikes very close to the factory GP7 machines ridden by Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi, and excellent support from their new tire supplier, Bridgestone.
Although an interesting proposition, it is hard to see how the offer of a satellite Ducati ride could tempt Toseland away from the well-oiled Ten Kate team, which next year is likely to be running the Honda RC212V. Right now, Honda's 800 is a less attractive proposition than the Ducati, but knowing Honda's history, it would be a very foolish person to bet against the Japanese giant having the bike back to winning form by the start of next season.