Ahead of the German MotoGP race, Honda’s Dani Pedrosa has announced his retirement from the sport after the end of the 2018 season with the Valencia Grand Prix being his last-ever world championship outing.
The 32-year-old will end a 18-year world championship career following Honda’s decision to replace him with Jorge Lorenzo in 2019. “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 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 the Japanese manufacturer 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 then took further four fourth placed finishes, three third placed finishes, second once and finished sixth last year. He is only 12th after seven races in the current year. In the 18 years, he has accumulated 54 grand prix victories which includes 31 in MotoGP.
He 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. 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 was linked to joining a satellite Yamaha outfit, but instead decided to retire.