Ducati is considering hiring Gresini CRT rider Michele Pirro for a test and reserve role.
Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the 26-year-old Italian, a Moto2 graduate, would get a handful of MotoGP and Superbike World Championship races for Ducati next year alongside his test duties, ahead of a full-season ride in 2014.
Ducati team boss Vito Guareschi confirmed that Pirro was in the squad's sights.
"We have liked his approach and the indications he gave us," Guareschi told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"He is a potential jack of all trades, so having him on our bench would be important.
"I was a rider, I did get to that crossroad. Sometimes a step back with your career in mind can become a step forward."
Ducati announced earlier this week that its satellite Pramac team would be upgraded in status for 2013 and get factory-spec equipment. Ex-Yamaha rider Ben Spies and Moto2 star Andrea Iannone will ride for the squad.
The only rider staying put in the Ducati line-up for next year will be Nicky Hayden, with Valentino Rossi's return to Yamaha paving the way for Andrea Dovizioso to join the factory Ducati team.
- Michele Pirro