More than one European press source indicates Ducati may be interested in hiring Marco Simoncelli to ride for it in MotoGP in 2012. Since Ducati factory riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden are already signed for next year, Simoncelli would likely ride on a satellite team, but with full factory support for his bike on a par with Rossi and Hayden (similar to his deal with Honda this year).
Simoncelli is reportedly interested in staying with Honda, but has not been offered a contract extension at this point. That could change, but Honda is effectively supporting four factory level racers now, and this could pose budget issues going forward. Additionally, Simoncelli has not helped his cause with all of his crashes/DNFs this year (he currently lies 8th in the points, and has never found the podium in two years at the MotoGP level). There is no doubt he is fast (he has two pole positions in MotoGP so far), but he has not shown consistency. Even when he stays on the bike for the entire race lately, he is battling with riders for position outside the top three podium spots (lately, the domain of Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa).