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GP Week : Issue 152
World Champion Casey Stoner is not planning to retire at the end of the season. The Australian found it necessary to make the statement, in response to reports in the Spanish media that he is to quit after this year. He did so with fitting scorn, telling the assembled Press: “Don’t listen to everything you read;” and the reporter concerned: “Don’t believe what you produce.” A general though good-humoured tirade against the fevered speculation that fills column inches recalled that similar reports had appeared in 2010, when he went AWOL for a couple of races with a debilitating condition later diagnosed as lactose intolerance. “I’ve said many times that my career’s not going to go on for long, but there is nothing in my mind right now about retirement,” he said. The rumours were sparked by a leak from within Honda, that now seems to have been disinformation calculated to manipulate the contract situation. Along with all top riders, Stoner’s HRC contract expires at the end of this season. Honda is anxious to secure his services for another two-year deal; Stoner would prefer a one-year contract, to give him room to move if he wants to. At the same time, Stoner has repeatedly railed against the frequent rule changes, and said he will not continue if MotoGP gets too far away from pure prototype racing, and with more restrictive technical rules due in 2015 or possibly earlier, there may be no smoke without fire. STONER: ‘I’M NO QUITTER’ Champion pours scorn on retirement reports 9 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS