During the Misano MotoGP press conference Thursday, Loris Capirossi made a huge announcement – the 38-year-old Italian reported that he’s retiring from the MotoGP Championship at the commencement of the 2011 campaign.
His career is very illustrious to fans and fellow riders in MotoGP. He’s competed in almost all classes (125cc, 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP) in the the World Championship, starting in 1990 at 17-years old.
During his professional motorcycle racing career, he took 29 GP wins, 44 poles and 99 podiums, which includes three world titles – his freshman and sophomore years as a 125cc rider (1990, 1991 Honda RS125), and one in the 250cc Class (1998, Aprilia RS250).
Capirossi, who competes on the Pramac Racing Ducati team this season, will be starting his 325th race this weekend at Misano. His last win came in 2007 at Motegi while riding with Casey Stoner, that year’s MotoGP Champ, with Ducati.
Following is what Capirossi said regarding the retirement at the Misano MotoGP teleconference.
Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing Ducati MotoGP) says: “It’s an important moment in my career, and the decision I made has come about after a lot of reflection. I’m happy that after 25 years, of which 22 were in the world championship, I’m at a point where I can still have a smile on my lips as I part ways, even if it’s difficult to think that I won’t be riding a bike next year.
“I must think the many, many people who over the years have followed me, encouraged me, motivated me. That includes Team Pramac, who gave me my final opportunity to race a motorcycle. I’m sorry that I haven’t brought home good results this year, but I’m confident for the final part of the championship. Motegi, Phillip Island, and Sepang are my favorite tracks, and I’ve won many races there.
“It will be difficult to get my hundredth podium, but I’ll fight to the end. As for my future, I still don’t have clear ideas. The only sure thing is that I won’t be a racer anymore. In life, it’s not easy to make these decisions, especially after so many years. Still, I’m sure that my new life will be thrilling, just like the one before it was.”
Capirossi is currently 16th in the 2011 MotoGP Championship with 29 points after 12 of 18. The year has been very upsetting for man born just outside of Bologna. During qualifying for Assen MotoGP in June, Capirossi crashed, breaking two ribs and sustaining a huge bruise on his shoulder. Due to his injuries, Capirossi would miss that round, and the subsequent two at Assen and Mugello.
If Capirossi starts the remaining six rounds in the 2011 MotoGP Championship, he will finish his career with 330 GP starts across all classes.