Valentino Rossi has given a further indication that he will remain at Ducati beyond the end of this season, after meeting with representatives from the company's new owner Audi during the German MotoGP weekend.
"I spoke directly with the boss of Audi and they have a strong intent about supporting Ducati in the future to regain its competitive edge,” Rossi told Italian broadcaster RTI
“It's a very ambitious project and I'm happy about it.”
"And they're counting on me,” added Rossi, when asked about his future.
With Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez looking certain to form Repsol Honda's 2013 rider line-up, the only alternative factory team ride for Rossi would be to rejoin Jorge Lorenzo at Yamaha.
Seven time MotoGP champion Rossi has taken two podiums since leaving Yamaha for Ducati at the end of 2010, but whilst keen for updates Rossi stressed he is seeking refinement rather than radical changes.
"It's much more clever to try and improve gradually the bike we have at the moment, because starting from scratch would mean spending too much time on setting up a new machine,” he declared.
Developments are due to be tested after this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, with engine parts expected to be introduced for the following US Grand Prix at the end of the month.
The only riders so far signed for 2013 are Lorenzo, Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) and Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Yamaha).