The story of two-time World Champion Casey Stoner returning to the World Championship on a wild-card Honda entry at his home Australian Grand Prix this October is the Rasputin of MotoGP - it is the story that refuses to die.
Speculation started earlier this summer when Stoner tested for HRC, a job he continues to do for the factory. Combine that with the less-than-stellar start to Stoner's career in Australian touring cars this season and his young retirement age of 27, and it's understandable why rumors would swirl.
But Honda team boss Livio Suppo continues to deny that Stoner will exit retirement to race for Honda at Phillip Island or any other track.
"For every manufacturer, to have a fast test rider is something like a dream," Suppo said to an Australian podcast. "It's almost impossible to find a super-fast rider to do tests. With Casey, it was a perfect situation. Since he retired, we spoke about his dream to still ride the bike sometimes.
"Everybody expects this means he will come back racing, but that's not the case."
As a rider, Stoner was not a fan of sponsor, fan or media commitments. Thus he has seemingly found a perfect job for someone who finds all of the workaday responsibilities of being a sportsman so intolerable, one where all he has to do is ride.