Ducati could extend its involvement in the new look 1000cc four-stroke MotoGP world championship to seven bikes in 2012.
The Bologna factory will field six bikes in 2011 having agreed to lease a GP11 for Czech Republic rider Karel Abraham back in August.
But talks have already commenced with the Valencia-based Aspar Ducati squad, run by former 125GP world champion Jorge Martinez, about increasing its involvement in 2012.
Aspar fields one bike for Hector Barbera but has unveiled expansion plans to run a two-rider effort in 2012 when the new 1000cc four-stroke rules are implemented.
Ducati boss Alessandro Cicognani said talks were underway about the Bologna factory’s 2012 strategy and he told MCN: “We are evaluating our involvement in 2012.
"It will be a new machine so we would like to give our satellite teams the best support. We don’t want to enlarge our entry just for the sake of it if it means we can’t maintain the best level of support.
"We are discussing with the Aspar team about the future.”
Despite being much smaller than its Japanese counterparts, Ducati will have two more bikes on the grid than Yamaha next year and match the entry of Honda.
HRC though will field four full factory RC212V machines next season for Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso and Marco Simoncelli.