This news will likely come as little surprise to anyone that's been paying attention to Italian motorcycle manufacturer MV Agusta over the last several years, but we recently got the chance to speak with Larry Ferracci, Director of Operations, MV Agusta USA, and he went ahead and confirmed what we've all long suspected, saying, "A smaller displacement bike is definitely in the plans for MV Agusta in the near-term future."

We recently got to spend some quality seat time aboard a brand new 2010 MV Agusta Brutale 990R (expect a full review soon), and the experience left us hopeful that some of that same magic can be applied to a somewhat smaller and slightly less expensive middleweight triple platform. Judging from the latest sets of spy photos rolling out of Italy of what appears to be just such a prototype, our wishes may soon be granted.

Conversely, the unsteady ground on which the storied Italian brand currently finds itself may not bode well for the middleweight's near-term release. Cross your fingers.