Two rounds into the 2012 MotoGP season and world champion Casey Stoner found himself being asked about rumours he is considering retirement - at the age of just 26.
A Spanish magazine suggested that the Australian wants to spend more time with his newly born daughter and has little left to prove after winning 34 premier-class races and MotoGP titles for both Ducati and Honda.
A less compassionate reason might be that Stoner, like all of the top riders, is out of contract at the end of this year. With a switch to another manufacturer unlikely, putting out a whisper of retirement would help persuade HRC to offer the most favourable terms possible for 2013.
But all such theories can be thrown out of the window, with Stoner labelling the retirement speculation as completely untrue.
“I'm basically saying don't believe what you read in the press... Don't read what you produce!” smiled Stoner to a Spanish reporter at Estoril on Thursday, causing laughter in the pre-event press conference.
“This was the same thing as some years ago. I spent one race out because I wasn't capable of racing and everybody said I was retiring.
“This is just another rumour and it has no fact.”
That firm denial followed similar comments earlier in the press conference.
“Everyone seems quite good at stories and making them up. I've said in the past that I'm not going to keep riding until my mid 30s. But I haven't decided what I'm doing, so certainly no-one else is going to know,” Stoner had said.
“Until you hear it out of my mouth then don't believe anything you read.
“A few people's contracts end at the end of this year - but no, there's nothing to do with retirement at this point. I definitely have to think at some point in the future about how many more years I want to race, but not right now.”
Stoner, currently seeking a complete cure for his recent arm pump problems, starts this weekend's Estoril event just four points from title leader Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) after victory last Sunday at Jerez.
Colin Stoner is currently negotiating his son's contract extension with Honda.