The name most frequently being linked with the ride at Suzuki is that of Cal Crutchlow. The Englishman has been extremely impressive so far this season, and scoring a podium at Le Mans merely strengthened his claim to a factory seat. Crutchlow has made no secret of his desire to race in a factory team, and with the Honda and Yamaha seats already tied up, that leaves only Nicky Hayden's seat at Ducati (the American is on a one-year deal with the Bologna factory) and the two new seats at Suzuki. Signing for Suzuki would be a huge risk, given that nobody is certain how competitive the bike is. That will only become clear once the bike makes its public debut at the Barcelona test in June.
So far, Crutchlow has been non-committal on speculation he may sign for Suzuki, joking he may switch sports and go cycling instead. That is a realistic option: Crutchlow lives on the Isle of Man and is a regular training partner of Mark Cavendish, the 2012 cycling World Champion and winner of multipe Tour de France stages. He is regarded as being talented enough to make the change, should he decide to consider it seriously.