Ducati boss Livio Suppo has rubbished a flood of rumours circulating the Brno paddock over the absence of number one rider and former world champion Casey Stoner.
Ever since it was confirmed that the 23-year-old would miss at least the next three races with on-going physical issues, speculation about Stoner’s future has spread like wildfire.
Rumours have suggested Stoner won’t be back until the 2010 world championship campaign while some have suggested he’s even split with Ducati in a bitter row.
Another big rumour is that the Aussie is contemplating retirement having fallen out of love with racing.
But Suppo issued a strong denial to all speculation as the Ducati garage and hospitality became a focal point of attention as the paddock reconvened from the summer break in Brno today.
Everybody has been talking about Stoner’s absence in the paddock today, with Suppo in particular having to field dozens of questions about the future of the 2007 world champion.
Suppo said: “We didn’t think about Casey stopping when he left Donington Park a few weeks ago, but when he went back to Australia it was impossible for him to do the things he wants because of his body. Speaking with his doctor and doing more tests we talked a lot and if he is not fit then he is not fit. Of course it has been a very difficult decision but I’ve spoken with him and he’s very motivated and he really wants to be back. I feel like he is really strongly motivated to do it. There is no doubt at the moment that he will race with us for next year. There are always lots of rumours in this kind of situation but Casey is strong. I know he wants to be back and that he likes Ducati, and we will show it. It is useless to speak about it because we will show it.”
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