Reigning triple MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo is hoping former rival Casey Stoner will make some wild-card race appearances for Ducati in 2016.
Stoner, who retired as a double champion at the end of 2012, recently split from Honda and signed on as a brand ambassador and test rider for Ducati.
The 30-year-old Australian - whose offer to replace the injured Dani Pedrosa was politely declined by Honda earlier this year - is to make his Desmosedici return in late January.
But the big question is whether Stoner will enter any races.
“Surely he will be encouraged to run as a wild-card in some races; I think that is their intention. I thought last year he would be out in a race, but at the end, due to circumstances, he wasn't,” Lorenzo told the official MotoGP website.
“He will want to go out on Phillip Island or some other tracks, surely we will see him fighting with us, I think for victory. I have seen very few, if any, riders with the natural talent of Casey, to be fast right away with any bike and in all weather conditions.
“It would be great news for everyone if Casey were to decide to come compete again. MotoGP is very difficult, many riders are fighting for victory, but having Casey back would be amazing. Hopefully he decides to return.”
Stoner claimed Ducati's only MotoGP title in 2007, the year before Lorenzo arrived in the premier-class, adding a second crown for Honda in 2011.
While Stoner's main rivals - Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa - remain in MotoGP, he has never gone head-to-head with Marc Marquez, who took over Stoner's RCV seat in 2013.