During the same press conference that saw reigning world champion Casey Stoner announce his shock retirement from MotoGP at the end of this season, Valentino Rossi again insisted he plans to stay for two more years.
A recent report by the UK's Daily Telegraph
newspaper had claimed Rossi planned to retire from MotoGP at the end of 2012.
The struggling nine time world champion quickly rejected the claim via Twitter
and Thursday's press conference provided the opportunity for a face-to-face denial.
“For me it is very difficult to understand where the news start, because I never speak about my retirement and I want to race in MotoGP for the next two years. For sure,” said the 33-year-old Ducati rider.
Rossi also gave his reaction to Stoner's retirement decision, at the age of just 26:
“It is a big surprise for me, like I think for everybody. It is bad news I think for all the MotoGP world, because at the end of the year we will lose one great rider, one great rival. It is negative, but it is his own decision.”
Rossi took his only Ducati podium to date at Le Mans last year. He returns just ninth in the 2012 championship with a best race finish of seventh.
All of the top MotoGP riders are out of contract at the end of 2012 and Stoner's departure could be the catalyst for a major shake-up of seats for 2013.