Valentino Rossi says Ducati is yet to finalise a direction for 2012, and that the final six rounds of the season will therefore be key in determining the squad's focus for next season.
Speaking ahead of the San Marino Grand Prix, which Rossi has won twice in the past, he revealed that different theories existed within Ducati regarding the best path for future development.
The Italian said that as well as simply trying to improve its recent record, Ducati needed to use the remaining events as an opportunity to identify a clear route for 2012.
"In Ducati there are some different ideas," Rossi said. "But 2012 starts one day after the last race of 2011. For that moment, we have to have an idea and a clear route to follow.
"We don't have to make this decision now - we have to work very hard at the end of this year, because we are trying to understand which way to follow with the bike for 2012.
"Together we try to find the technical balance of the bike; it will be tough to overcome but we try."
Rossi admitted the team's poor showing at Indianapolis made coming to Misano difficult, but said the levels of support for both himself and Ducati provided extra motivation.
"It is a difficult season, and a bad race last week, to come from," he stated. "Here, this track is brutal. I want to be fastest but it's so difficult.
"[The support] is great, me and Ducati are very important also to the fans so we win a lot of support. Unfortunately this year we are not able to keep our record up, so we have to try - for us and also the fans."
Pressed on the issue of the Japanese Grand Prix, Rossi again refused to commit to racing, adding: "For sure the race is on. All the tests they do in Motegi are negative for the radiation.
"I think everybody needs to make their own decisions though. I have not made mine, I wait."