It appears Cal Crutchlow won't have a contract for a Ducati factory bike to sign this weekend at Mugello, after all.
Reports swirled all week that this weekend was the deadline for Crutchlow to inform Ducati bosses whether he would accept a two-year deal offered to him to race a factory Desmosedici. But Crutchlow insists Ducati hasn't presented him with an official piece of parchment to sign.
As you might imagine, even though current bosses at Yamaha are said to have banned him from talking about any deal with Ducati or mentioning Ducati in terms of employment opportunities, Crutch' ignores them.
"Talks are still ongoing, and that's it," Crutchlow said. "It is not a holdup from our side, so read into that what you want.
"As far as I am concerned, we can't do anything different, and we are waiting. It is a situation that I don't print my own contract. They print it and then send it, so obviously nothing has been sent. We have to wait, and I am still talking to them, but we are waiting for them.
"It is their decision. Everything is discussed, but at the minute we don't have any paperwork. I don't have a contract so I can't do anything. Everything else was done quite some time ago, but at the moment there is a bit of a holdup."
That snag doesn't appear to be an 11th-hour change of heart about current Ducati factory rider Nick Hayden within Ducati management or its new owner, German auto giant Audi. Hayden confirmed he has conducted recent talks with Ducati President and CEO Gabriele Del Torchio, but no formal contract negotiations.