Valentino Rossi has moved quickly to dismiss reports claiming the Italian star was going to retire at the end of 2012.
A report in today’s Daily Telegraph claimed Rossi would retire at the end of his second season with Ducati, or even quit before the end of the campaign because of his failure to make the Desmosedici a competitive force in MotoGP.
Rossi has only scored one podium in 20 races for the Bologna factory and earlier this season was critical of technical staff for not following his requests to improve the new 1000cc GP12.
Rossi’s comments in the aftermath of his disappointing 10th place in the season’s opening race in Qatar led to a flood of rumours that he wanted to quit Ducati prior to the end of his contract.
Speculation was rife too that his failure to compete with Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo would hasten his decision to retire, having previously stated his intention to race on for at least two more years.
The Daily Telegraph story claimed Rossi had told his father Graziano and former factory Yamaha team boss Davide Brivio that he was going to quit MotoGP after winning nine world titles and 105 races in a career that started back in 1996.
But the 33-year-old took to his official Twitter feed this morning, which has over 850,000 followers, to deny the retirement story and he said: “Ciao guys, the rumors about my retirement at the end of the year are not true! see you in Le Mans.”
It was only last weekend during the Estoril Grand Prix weekend in Portugal that Ducati CEO told MCN of the ‘strong possibility’ that Ducati and Rossi will be together again in 2013.