Marco Simoncelli has told Honda he wants a new contract offer by the next race in Brno as speculation mounts that Ducati is preparing to launch an audacious raid for the Italian.
Simoncelli has no intention of quitting Honda, but he's yet to be offered a new deal by the Japanese factory heading into the summer break.
Honda is still finalising its budget for 2012 and rumours have emerged that the delay in offering Simoncelli a fresh deal has alerted Ducati management.
Ducati is reportedly willing to test Simoncelli's loyalty to HRC by tabling a bid for the Italian, even though close pal Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden are already under contract for next season.
Simoncelli's management consultant Carlo Pernat told MCN: "Now we are waiting for the offer from Honda. We asked for an offer in Brno. For sure Ducati is not staying calm and they are interested in Marco. Marco wants to stay with Honda, but if Ducati can arrive with an offer, he would have to think about it. The first choice is Honda and I'm sure that he will stay with them."
Ducati boss Alessandro Cicognani though brushed off suggestions that a formal approach had been made to Simoncelli.
He said: "No, not at all. We have our riders signed for next year with Nicky and Valentino and we will stick to this."