After much dithering and dallying, and pretending that nothing had been settled, Alvaro Bautista finally came clean after the MotoGP race at Brno and announced that he will after all be joining Suzuki in MotoGP. In a press conference, the Spaniard confirmed that he has signed a two-year deal with Suzuki, as had been widely leaked and reported in the run up to the Brno race.
Bautista's hand was forced by the new rookie rule, which prevents new entrants to the class from going straight to a factory team. As the only factory without a satellite team, Suzuki is exempt from this rule, and as Bautista was keen to be on a factory squad, this was his only option in MotoGP.
Bautista's team mate is most likely to be Loris Capirossi. The Italian veteran has been dropping hints all weekend that he is close to a deal with Suzuki for one more year, and only has a few details to tie up. This leaves Capirex' current team mate Chris Vermeulen out of the team at Suzuki, and in search of a seat elsewhere. Vermeulen is said to have offered to ride for the Tech 3 team basically for free, but there's a long line of others offering to do the same, so the competition is fierce.
Seats are starting to fill up surprisingly quickly in MotoGP, and we have gone from knowing very little to having most of the loose ends tied up in the space of just a few days. However, rumors continue to circulate about Jorge Lorenzo, and about Hiroshi Aoyama, and about Thomas Luthi's Caffe Latte team having the funds for an extra Honda in MotoGP. So though the picture is clearer, it is very far from over. There's plenty of news still to come.