Ducati boss Gigi Dall’Igna reckons it is essential to keep Andrea Dovizioso on a Desmosedici machine in 2015.
The Bologna factory is facing stiff competition from Suzuki for the experienced Italian’s signature.
Suzuki is eager to get the former 125GP world champion to lead its premier class return next year and his departure would be a hammer blow to Ducati’s bid to slash the huge performance gap to Honda and Yamaha.
Dovizioso was the leading Ducati rider in his first season on a struggling Desmosedici in 2013, and he has made an impressive start to this season on the GP14.
His third place in Texas earlier this year was Ducati’s first rostrum for 20 months and his value to Ducati was demonstrated once again in Le Mans last month when he claimed a front row start.
And Dall’Igna told MCN: “I am really happy about the job that Andrea is doing for us. If Andrea feels like he wants to continue with us then I am really happy. If he would like to join Suzuki then sure it is not the best solution for us.
"My target is to continue with him but I don’t want to convince a rider to stay with us. The riders have to be confident with our job, otherwise if you don’t like the bike you are riding then you can’t make the best possible results.”