Valentino Rossi thinks Casey Stoner is keen on a return to MotoGP racing and said the inclusion of the Australian would make the world championship more interesting.
Stoner signed for Ducati as a test rider in 2016 and has been competing in the pre-season in Malaysia this week.
The two-time world champion ruled out a return to racing on Tuesday, but Rossi believes he wants to come out of retirement.
"It has been nice to see his name in the top part of the timing sheets alongside mine, [Jorge] Lorenzo, [Dani] Pedrosa and [Marc] Marquez," Rossi told reporters.
"I think he wants to come back to racing. I don't know if it will happen, but it would make the championship even more interesting.
"Will he race in Qatar? We will see at the track [at the pre-season test in early March]. It is a circuit where Ducati are strong.
"It would be one of the best rewards for him if he participates in a few races."