Pedrosa announces retirement from MotoGP
Dani Pedrosa has officially confirmed that he will retire from MotoGP at the end of the season.
The 32-year-old is to be replaced at Repsol Honda by Jorge Lorenzo next year and, rather than join a satellite team – Pedrosa had been linked with the new SIC Petronas Yamaha project – the Spaniard has decided to end his career at Valencia in November.
Having delayed a decision on his future in Catalunya and Assen, Pedrosa finally announced his plans on the eve of this weekend’s German round:
“I will finish my MotoGP career this season and not race next year. It’s been a hard decision because this is the sport I love.
“I would like to express how fortunate I feel to have had this opportunity. It’s been an amazing life to be racing for such an important team and in front of all the fans.
“So I can say I achieved way more than I expected and I’m very proud of everything I’ve done in the sport. I fulfilled my dream of becoming a racer and this is something I didn’t expect as a kid watching on TV.
“Thanks to everybody who has helped me and now it’s time to start a new chapter.”
Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta stated that Pedrosa will be made an official MotoGP Legend during his final grand prix at Valencia in November.
The emotion of the moment began to show when Pedrosa reflected on the very start of his career, while he said of turning down the Yamaha ride:
“It was a great chance. It was just my feeling and being honest with myself… This was the decision.”
After winning 125cc (2003) and 250cc titles (2004, 2005), the Spaniard joined MotoGP with Repsol Honda in 2006.
Pedrosa has claimed 31 victories but also been frequently injured, contributing to the unwelcome statistic of most successful rider never to win the premier-class title.
Instead, Pedrosa – who at 160cm and 51kg is the smallest rider on the grid – finished championship runner-up in 2007, 2010 and 2012.
One of Pedrosa’s remaining targets will be to extend his record of at least one race win a season, since 2002.
His best result so far this year is a fifth place in France and Catalunya, having been injured in Argentina.
Pedrosa has been team-mate to Marc Marquez since 2013. The reigning four-time MotoGP champion currently leads this year’s standings by 41-points heading into Sachsenring.
With Pedrosa removing himself from contention at the SIC Yamaha team, Alvaro Bautista (whose Angel Nieto squad is providing grid places for the new Malaysian entry) is among those being mentioned for the final 2019 M1 seat.
Franco Morbidelli is already thought to have secured the other SIC ride, although it is yet to be officially confirmed.