"SETE GIBERNAU is on the brink of clinching a multi-million pound deal to join Ducati in 2006. The 32-year-old Spaniard met Bologna factory bosses last Friday to open negotiations about riding a factory Desmosedici in MotoGP. He flew straight to Italy after lastminute demands to be placed in Honda’s official factory squad next season were rejected by HRC bosses in Japan. Gibernau gave HRC until last Friday to meet his request, and only hours after learning that Honda won’t bow to his demands, Gibernau was on the plane to Italy to discuss a deal that would see him link up with Loris Capirossi in the Marlboro-backed squad. Gibernau is rumoured to be demanding a whopping £3.5m to join Ducati, which is way more than bosses are willing to pay. But Bridgestone, the team’s tyre supplier, have reportedly told Ducati they will meet the shortfall between what Ducati wants to pay and what Gibernau is demanding. Gibernau looks certain to have no future at Honda after his personal sponsor Telefonica MoviStar confirmed last week it will quit MotoGP this year. Spanish tobacco company Fortuna will now take over backing Gibernau’s current team, and they aren’t willing to cough up the money to keep Gibernau with current team-mate Marco Melandri. Fortuna bosses said they would keep Gibernau if Honda paid a large chunk of his wages. Honda is reluctant to do that, and it now seems that Toni Elias will move from Yamaha to join Melandri."