Rome - Seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi on Tuesday denied newspaper reports that he is about to retire from MotoGP.
The once all-conquering speedster has suffered a miserable time since leaving Yamaha to join Ducati, finishing seventh in last year's championship and managing only one podium finish. After three races in this campaign he is down in ninth.
But despite a report in Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, Rossi insists he is not calling it quits.
"Ciao guys, the rumours about my retirement at the end of the year are not true! See you in Le Mans," the 33-year-old wrote on his Twitter page.
"I have no intention to retire at the end of the season, it's just a made-up story. Often things are written in newspapers, not because they are true but because they sell copies."
Rossi has been critical of the Ducati ever since the first race this season, leading to rumours that he is not happy with the team.
The Telegraph, citing an unnamed source close to the popular Italian, claimed on its website that Rossi will retire at the season's end, when his contract comes to an end.
Rossi is one of the most successful riders of all time in his sport with seven championship wins between 2001 and 2009 plus two more in the lower classes.
But last season was the first time he had failed to win a race.