Ducati say they have not signed a deal with Valentino Rossi but admit they remain interested in the MotoGP champion.
The official denial came a day after Ducati CEO Gabriele Del Torchio's comments to American bike magazine Cycle World sparked rumours that Rossi had signed up with the Italian team for future MotoGP seasons.
Del Torchio said: "This season will not bring to Ducati any crown in the sport, but I look forward to Valentino Rossi teaming up with Nicky Hayden ... next year, he and Valentino will hone the bike to its ultimate winning potential."
But the rumours of his move from Fiat Yamaha were quickly scotched by Ducati who said they currently had no agreement in place with the riders, adding that any such announcement would be made through official channels.
Ducati's statement, however, said "our interest in these riders remains" - which many have interpreted as a sure sign that Rossi will be riding for the team in the future.
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