Neil Hodgson could make a surprise MotoGP return at the French Grand Prix as a stand-in at Kawasaki for the injured Olivier Jacque, autosport.com has learned.
Jacque is already out of this weekend's race in China after cutting his forearm open in an accident in second practice, and is a doubt for the next race at Le Mans.
Although no decision has been made yet about when the Frenchman will be able to get back on a bike, sources have revealed that Kawasaki are considering putting Hodgson on standby if he wants the ride.
Kawasaki do not have a reserve rider after their tester Naoki Matsudo suffered serious injuries in a crash earlier this year, while former 250cc race winner Fonsi Nieto. who was linked with the team last year has now taken a World Superbike Series ride with a Kawasaki ZX-10.
Hodgson, however, is available and already has experience on the Bridgestone tyres that Kawasaki use after he tested at Oschersleben last week for Ducati. He is currently standing in as Bridgestone's test rider with regular Shinichi Itoh out thanks to a broken hip.
With Hodgson having no race ride this season after the withdrawal of Ducati from the AMA series in America in which he rode, his availability for the French GP would be guaranteed.
Hodgson last raced in MotoGP with the Primac D'Antin team in 2004 but he did not enjoy the year and turned down the chance of a return with them for this season.