After he was replaced by Jorge Lorenzo in the Honda MotoGP outfit for 2019, Dani Pedrosa has announced his retirement from the sport at the end of the 2018 season.
The 32-year-old will not only end his 13-year MotoGP career but a 18-year world championship career as well as he bids goodbye to the sport where he has spent most of his life in.
“Next year I won’t compete in the Championship, I’ll finish my career in MotoGP this season,” said Pedrosa. “It’s a decision I’ve thought about for a long time and it’s a hard decision because this is the sport I love but despite having good opportunities to keep racing.
“I feel like I don’t live racing with the same intensity as before and I now have different priorities in my life. I would like to express how fortunate I feel to have had this experience and these opportunities in my life.
“It’s been an amazing life to have been racing for such an important team and in front of all the fans. I achieved way more than I expected and I’m very, very proud of what I’ve done in the sport.
“I’ve fulfilled my dream of becoming a racer and that’s something that I didn’t expect when I was a kid watching TV, watching riders in the World Championship. I would like to take this time to say thanks to Dorna and to Honda for giving me this opportunity way back in 1999, and to all my sponsors who’ve been with me throughout my career.
“I would like also to say thanks to my family, and to all the fans who supported me throughout my career and through the thick and thin, who helped me sending so many messages to overcome difficult things in the past.”
The Spaniard started his world championship career with Honda in 2001 in the 125cc category where he raced for three seasons – winning in 2003 after which he graduated to the 250cc category with Honda itself.
He won in both the seasons in 2004 and 2005 after which he made the much fancied debut in MotoGP in 2006. He finished fifth in his rookie season and followed it up with a runners-up position in 2007 season.
He was then third in 2008, followed it up with third again in 2009. He came close to the title in 2010 again but could only manage second, while he dropped to fourth in 2011 – only to rise back to second in 2012.
He was third in 2013 and followed it up with double fourth in 2014 and 2015 seasons. He dropped to sixth in 2016 and was fourth last year. This season, however, he is only 12th after seven races.
In these 18 years, he has accumulated 54 grand prix victories which includes 31 in MotoGP and has a total of 153 podium finishes as he sits seventh in the all-time winners list of two-wheel racers.
In an honour for his services, Pedrosa will be inducted in the MotoGP Legends Hall ff Fame during the season finale of 2018 at Valencia. “Dani Pedrosa is a true great,” said Dorna’s boss Carmelo Ezpeleta upon the announcement.
“A World Champion on 125cc and 250cc machinery and one of the most successful riders we’ve ever had the pleasure of watching, Pedrosa has contributed an incredible amount to the world of motorcycle racing.
“With a legacy that includes his incredible winning run over so many years, and so many wins and podium finishes, we’re very proud that he will be inducted as a MotoGP Legend,” he added.
Pedrosa’s retirement has been the talking points ever since Honda decided to replace Pedrosa with Lorenzo next season alongside Marc Marquez. There were rumours of him joining the satellite Yamaha outfit, but the retirement ends any speculations now.
In fact, Pedrosa revealed that his Honda-ending spell was two-years in the making and that he had already told the Japanese manufacturer’s previous management that he will move on from Honda after the 2018 season.