Valentino Rossi is not expected to enter into talks to renew his Movistar Yamaha contract until next June, according to team boss Lin Jarvis.
Seven-time MotoGP champion Rossi's existing deal runs until the end of the end of next season and was extended ahead of the first race of the 2016 campaign.
The 38-year-old, who is behind team-mate Maverick Vinales and sits fifth in the riders' standings, previously suggested that may prove to be his last contract.
Jarvis admits an early renewal is unlikely, claiming Rossi will know what he wants to do by the sixth race of 2018 in Italy.
Asked whether talks over a deal for 2019 had started, Jarvis told motorsport.com: "No, because we have a two-year contract.
"Last year we did it in Qatar, which was at the beginning of the season before, as such. Right now, we're a little more than half a year into a two-year contract.
"I expect we will end up discussing with him... I don't think it would be as early as Qatar.
"I think it will be around Mugello-time, he will know whether he wants to extend his contract beyond the end of 18."