Johann Zarco believes Ducati can "give me time" to prove himself on the year-old Avintia-run Desmosedici and show he deserves a factory MotoGP seat with the marque in 2021.
The double Moto2 world champion has signed directly with Ducati for 2020 to ride a GP19 in Avintia colours, with the team now becoming an official Ducati satellite squad in the process.
Both of Ducati's current factory riders - Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci - are out of contract at the end of the year.
However, Ducati's options outside of that pair are now extremely limited, with its most-wanted picks in Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo signing to Yamaha for two years, while Joan Mir is expected to remain with Suzuki.
Zarco, who endured a miserable 13-race stint with KTM before departing to ride an LCR Honda for the last three rounds of 2019, has made no secret of his desire to elevate himself to the works Ducati squad in '21.
Although he admits he has not entered discussions with anyone, he doesn't believe Ducati will "rush" its decision on its rider line-up.
"I'm not even thinking about it," he told Canal+ when asked if his future plans could be messed up by the coronavirus-forced delays to the MotoGP season.
"I haven't yet realised that delaying the start of the season or having less time to prove myself can be complicated for me in 2021.
"I have every confidence in Ducati.
"I'm already happy to have met them and to be enjoying the bike, and I can see that deep down inside I still have such a burning desire to win that I am confident that it can bring me good things.
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"At the moment I'm not discussing 2021 with anyone at all.
"Ideally, I would [stay] at Ducati, if I can perform well with them, [but] we shouldn't close the doors to other possibilities either."
Ducati pushed hard for Zarco to sign with it to join the Avintia team over the course of the Valencia weekend in November - despite the French rider branding Avintia as "not a top team" and claiming he'd rather go back to Moto2 than go to the customer Ducati team.
Autosport understands Ducati seriously considered ousting Petrucci from its works team and promoting Jack Miller for 2020, with Zarco taking Miller's place at Pramac.
However, the cost of breaking Petrucci's contract would not have been worth that rider shuffle.
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