Loris Capirossi says he expects to continue racing beyond 2010 as he believes MotoGP's forthcoming move to 1000cc bikes will suit him.
The Italian has been a world championship rider since joining the 125cc series in 1990 and is the most experienced man in the current MotoGP field. He will achieve his 300th start at world level at the start of the 2010 season.
MotoGP is due to change to 1000cc engines for 2012, although series supremo Carmelo Ezpeleta has hinted that the new rules could be brought forward to next year.
"If the 1000cc bikes come back in 2011, and I think this is possible, then I'd be the happiest rider on Earth," Capirossi told Italian magazine Motosprint. "It's 99 percent certain I'll still be on the track after this season. I absolutely think so, because I'll decide to hang up the helmet based on my level of satisfaction. If it's an enjoyable season, with me fighting, if I'm satisfied with myself, then I may decide to quit. But after a 2009 so full of trouble, I'm not even thinking about this possibility."
Capirossi is staying on with Suzuki for a third season in 2010, and will be paired with 250cc graduate Alvaro Bautista. So far Capirossi's Suzuki stint has only delivered one podium finish in two years, and although he said he would probably retire if he was outpaced by Bautista, he did not want to stop without getting back among the front runners.
"If Bautista beats me race after race, then I will understand the problem is me and I will stay at home," said Capirossi. "But if the bike doesn't give me the chance of showing my worth, then it'd be difficult accepting to quit."
The 36-year-old said his priority was to bow out in style, and that he would seek another team if Suzuki did not allow him to do so.
"I hope to find a competitive Suzuki this season, but if the bike isn't, and it doesn't bring me decent results, then I won't quit, anyway," Capirossi suggested. "I'll carry on racing, maybe after sorting out something else. If the bike goes well and I manage to get what I want, then I may decide to quit. I want to quit in a honorable way for myself, not for other people."