With the future of Ben Spies now apparently settled - though the English-language journalists continue to debate the exact meaning of the word "foresee", and whether it allows for Spies to move to MotoGP earlier than 2011 - half the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team seems to be settled, as Colin Edwards looks certain to keep his seat in the team, especially given the outstanding results he has posted this season. The fate of James Toseland, however, looks a good deal less certain, with team boss Herve Poncharal stopping short of expressing outright criticism of the British rider, but pointing out that Toseland's results have been disappointing, both for Toseland himself and for the team. It is widely accepted that Toseland is likely to remain in MotoGP - the BBC's multi-year multi-million dollar deal with series organizer Dorna would seem to demand that a British rider be in the series - but that does not mean that JT needs to stay at Tech 3.
Indeed, it seems as if that battle has already been fought, and Toseland has lost. The usually well-informed Spanish website Motocuatro.com is reporting that not Toseland, but Alex de Angelis will be riding for Monster Tech 3 Yamaha next year. The deal would be for a single season, with Yamaha taking a look at both Edwards and De Angelis at the end of 2010, to decide who will make way for Ben Spies. De Angelis' run of excellent results since the Sachsenring are believed to have persuaded Yamaha to have given the man from San Marino a second chance to prove himself, and given the proven nature of the satellite Yamaha M1, that should be a challenge De Angelis is up to.
So far, of course, this is just a report, and no official statement has been forthcoming. The report could still turn out to be inaccurate, as previous reports had indicated that De Angelis had already signed a pre-contract with the Pramac Ducati team, though a Yamaha M1 is probably preferable to a Ducati Desmosedici. De Angelis also faces very stiff competition at the Tech 3 team, with Chris Vermeulen rumored to have offered his services for free to Poncharal, and Toni Elias, Randy de Puniet and James Toseland all named as possible candidates for the bike. Elias is unlikely to get the seat as the Spaniard is reportedly asking for too much money, while De Puniet is said to have asked for guarantees about the level of support he is to receive. Whether Herve Poncharal could honor those requests is unknown.
If De Angelis has signed for Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, where does this leave James Toseland? It is believed to be important for the BBC to have a British rider in MotoGP, but the value of having a British rider running round in 14th place has got to be doubtful, especially with the young British riders Bradley Smith, Scott Redding and Danny Webb making their way through the ranks, and likely to end up on MotoGP in the not too distant future. If Dorna does decide to keep Toseland - an objective achieved by the simple expedient of supplying additional funds to whichever team takes the Briton - the most likely destination will be either Pramac Ducati (though this would require the blessing of Ducati) or possibly the Hayate team, which is expected to run leased Yamaha engines in their existing chassis next season. This would allow Yamaha to keep a link to Toseland, who has been instrumental in marketing for both their musical department and their motorcycles.
If Toseland does leave - a prospect which the report in Motocuatro foresees - his most likely destination is the Ten Kate Honda team in World Superbikes. Both Ronald and Gerrit ten Kate have spoken fondly of Toseland, expressing their respect for the things Toseland did at the team. The Dutch cousins have made no secret of their desire to have the Yorkshireman back, should he return to World Superbikes, and with both Ryuichi Kiyonari and Carlos Checa posting disappointing results for the team, Toseland could easily slot back in at Ten Kate.