Overseas, especially Italian, forums are awash with the speculation that Casey Stoner's 3 week "break" from racing has a lot less to do with regaining his fitness and getting a handle on his mystery illness and a great deal more to do with the rumours that he has asked Ducati to let him go and they are giving him the break to consider his future. At first when I read this it sounded too far-fetched, but, as I thought about it, it made more sense. If Casey IS suffering from the same sort of viral ailment that ended the career of Freddie Spencer, for example, he will know that no amount of rest, treatment or therapy will cure it. Once caught it appears to linger in the system from thereon, laying low sometimes and then flaring up again. Spencer's numerous attempts at a comeback were all ultimately thwarted by this condition. Nor will changing the fitness regimen help either and the virus appears to actually get worse if extra fitness activities are inititiated. Listening to some who have had similar symptoms, it seems that Casey may have already decided that the effort and fitness level required to maintain his competitiveness may not be achievable any more. Now it could be that he will get a favourable diagnosis and make a full recovery, but the speculation that he has already decided to "hang it up" doesn't seem to be going away, and, in fact, seems to be getting stronger with the passage of time. I believe that no-one would begrudge him an honourable retirement if he truly believes that a comeback is not possible. Let's hope that the rumours are incorrect.