Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali has warned that the record-breaking Desmosedici engine will enjoy a further performance boost in 2017.
"It's very confidential, but it's part of the advanced development we are running, something we have never done before," said Domenicali.
"We are very, let's say, excited. Because there is a very good increase in performance, thanks to a different approach in the overall engine. Let's put it this way.
"It's still a 90-degree V4 engine, but with a different interpretation of the design and the general approach. So, we are increasing the performance of the engine."
When it was pointed out that the Ducati was already very fast in a straight-line - last year's engine set a new all-time MotoGP speed record of 354.9km/h (220.5mph) at Mugello - Domenicali quipped:
"If you are very fast, don't sleep! Because the others will catch up."
Triple MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo is joining Ducati this season, with the aim of fighting for the factory's first premier-class title since 2007.