Putting an end to all the speculations, Repsol Honda Team MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa has announced his retirement at the end of 2018. The Spaniard and the Repsol Honda Team ended their long partnership of 18 years and the 32-year-old rider will be replaced by Jorge Lorenzo in 2019.
Pedrosa has had a tough start to the 2018 season. Rumours suggested that the Spaniard will join satellite team Petronas Yamaha MotoGP. However, Pedrosa announced his retirement on Thursday at the German GP press conference. Over his 18 year long career, he achieved the third most number of podiums, 54 wins and three World Championships.
Pedrosa announced, “Next year I won’t compete in the Championship, I’ll finish my career in MotoGP this season. 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.”
Here’s the list of riders that you’d see on the MotoGP 2019 grid:
|Movistar Yamaha||Valentino Rossi (Italy)|
|Maverick Viñales (Spain)|
|Honda Racing Corporation||Marc Marquez (Spain)|
|Jorge Lorenzo (Spain)|
|Ducati Team||Andrea Dovizioso (Italy)|
|Danilo Petrucci (Italy)|
|Team Suzuki Ecstar||Alex Rins (Spain)|
|Joan Mir (Spain)|
|Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team||Johann Zarco (France)|
|Pol Espargaro (Spain)|
|Aprilia Racing||Aleix Espargaro (Spain)|
|Andrea Iannone (Italy)|
|Tech3 KTM||Hafizh Syahrin (Malaysia)|
|Miguel Oliveira (Portugal)|
With inputs from MotoGP