Ducati Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti believes two-time champion Casey Stoner will never return to MotoGP.
The Australian star burst onto the scene in 2006, then claimed MotoGP titles in 2008 and 2011 before retiring the following year.
Stoner has stayed on at Ducati as a test rider and was offered the chance to compete at the Red Bull Ring in Austria this season, though he turned down the offer.
"In negotiations with Casey, his contract stipulated only three tests, not the chance to contest a grand prix," revealed Ciabatti on motorsport.com.
"What happens is, when you see him get on the bike and you realise how fast he goes, you think it would be like a dream for him to come back and run a race.
"But, in the end, if he didn't agree to it in Austria, he won't race again."
Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso confirmed that testing was Stoner’s main role within the team.
"Let's say he's not the usual test rider, like Pirro, who is completely involved in the development of the bike," said the Italian.
"Casey has done a few tests and has given his opinion, but his influence this year has not been big because he hasn't always been there."