Valentino Rossi is not set to retire, the Italian's manager, Davide Brivio confirmed on Twitter on Monday morning. In the aftermath of the crash that saw Marco Simoncelli killed, struck by both Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi after being dragged across the track by his bike, rumors and speculation surged across the internet that the nine-time World Champion would hang up his helmet, upset at the death of his close friend Simoncelli.
But on Monday morning, Rossi's friend Alessio Salucci, better known as Uccio, posted on Twitter that retirement was not on Rossi's mind: "For those asking, Vale is absolutely not thinking of retiring," Uccio posted, adding "I am upset that this false news is circulating at a moment like this." Rossi's personal manager Davide Brivio added his own confirmation "Many are asking about Vale stopping races. This not absolutely true and I'm sorry even that I have to explain it…" Brivio posted.
The source of the rumors appears to be an opinion expressed by Steve Parrish in his BBC tribute to Simoncelli that Rossi could consider retiring over the issue. "My first thoughts - and this is absolutely my own gut feeling - are that Rossi could now retire," Parrish wrote. The proviso that "this is absolutely my own gut feeling" was quickly lost in the general hubbub and the rumor took on a life of its own.
The source that fueled the fire - Twitter and internet forums - was also the same source that helped quickly quench it. Brivio and Uccio acted quickly to quash the rumors, posting their response on Twitter almost immediately on waking. The speed and directness of communication bypassed both the traditional printed media, radio, TV and even the motorcycle racing websites. Twitter allowed Brivio and Uccio to respond directly to news, without the intervention of the media, something that Brivio was quick to note. "In this bad days Twitter is helpful to get news, to understand the mood of the people, to explain fake news and rumors. Thanks to you all," Brivio posted, fittingly, on Twitter.