Fabio Quartararo is set to replace Valentino Rossi at the factory Yamaha MotoGP team in 2021, Autosport has learned.
Quartararo, who was the standout MotoGP rookie in 2019, will partner Maverick Vinales, who recently agreed an extended deal to remain at Yamaha until 2022.
An announcement regarding Quartararo's graduation from the satellite Petronas SRT Yamaha squad is expected shortly.
The decision to promote Quartararo to the factory team is partly down to increased interest in the French rider from both Ducati and Suzuki, following a maiden premier class campaign that included six pole positions and seven podium finishes.
The move will leave Yamaha stalwart Rossi with the option of taking Quartararo's place at SR or retiring from MotoGP altogether.
Rossi, who will turn 41 before the start of the 2020 season, has said he would be open to moving to SRT if it meant he could prolong his career.
Lorenzo set for Yamaha test role
After retiring from MotoGP one year into his Honda deal, Jorge Lorenzo looks set to return to the Yamaha fold for the first time since 2016 as a test rider.
Autosport first reported a potential test role for Lorenzo with the manufacturer he won all three of his MotoGP titles in December.
Yamaha operated a European test team for the first time in 2019, but it split with its lead test rider Jonas Folger before the end of the year.