The long-awaited announcement regarding Dani Pedrosa’s future finally arrived today at the Sachsenring. The current Repsol Honda rider held a special press conference in which he announced he is retiring from MotoGP after 13 years in the premier class.
The announcement comes after much speculation over Pedrosa’s future recently, with a press conference held in Barcelona that ended up revealing nothing. At the time, Pedrosa said he had many options but had not made any decisions. It was widely speculated that he would join the new Sepang International Circuit satellite Yamaha team, but he decided that retirement was the best option for him.
“Next year I will not compete in the championship, meaning my career in MotoGP will finish this season.” Said Pedrosa at his press conference.
“This is a hard decision that I’ve been thinking about for a long time and it’s a very 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 now I have different priorities in my life.
“I would like to express how fortunate I feel to have had this experience in my life, it’s been an amazing life to be out racing for such an important team and in front of all the fans. 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.”
The 3-time world champion has been with Honda throughout his entire career, winning the 150cc title and two 250cc titles. He never managed the world title in the premier class but is still seen as one of the greatest riders in the modern era. He has achieved great things in his career, having won at least one race in the premier class for 12 consecutive seasons. He also finished runner up in the championship in 2007, 2010 and 2012 and is 7th on the all-time wins list. He has battled numerous injuries and consequent surgeries throughout his career and if he’d had a little more luck, it’s very likely he would’ve won at least one MotoGP title.
Pedrosa’s small stature makes his achievements on the Honda all the more impressive; the Honda is widely considered the most physical bike on the grid, and his team-mate, Marc Marquez, rides the bike with a lot of aggression to get results. Pedrosa is 5’2 and weighs only 51 kilos, and naturally has a smoother riding style. It’s unfortunate that we will never be able to see what he could do on a bike more suited to him and his riding style, for example the Yamaha.
Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta joined the press conference to give the news that Pedrosa will be inducted into the MotoGP Hall of Fame at the 2018 season finale in Valencia.