One of the most successful riders on the grid, Dani Pedrosa has announced his retirement from MotoGP at the end of this season. The announcement marks the end of an 18-year career for the Spaniard, 12 years of which were spent in the premier class of the championship. The Spaniard announced his exit from the sport ahead of the German Grand Prix later this week. The decision does come quite contrary to speculations that the 32-year-old would move to a satellite team next year following his exit from the Repsol Honda MotoGP team at the end of 2018. Pedrosa is regarded as one of the most experienced and humble riders in MotoGP with third most wins, 54 podiums and three world titles to his name.
Speaking to the press, Dani Pedrosa said, "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," he added further.
Gracias @26_DaniPedrosa por ser el referente de muchos pilotos que crecíamos en busca de nuestro sueño. Has sido un gran compañero!— Marc Márquez (@marcmarquez93) July 12, 2018
Thanks Dani for being the mentor of many riders, we looked up to you when following our dreams. You’ve been a fantastic teammate!#GraciasDani pic.twitter.com/vPrhJGjN1q
Dani Pedrosa spent his complete career with the Repsol Honda Team, and took home three world titles in MotoGP including one in the 125 cc class and two in the 250 cc class. A premier class world title, however, eluded the Spaniard with multiple injuries continuously hampering his otherwise brilliant pace. That said, Pedrosa did end up as the runner-up on three occasions since his entry in the premier class series in 2006.
The current MotoGP season, however, hasn't had the best results for Pedrosa. After a promising start, the rider could not consistently deliver results with an mid-race injury further slowing down the process. Repsol Honda and Pedrosa mutually parted ways last month as the team signed on Jorge Lorenzo as the Spaniard's replacement.
Meanwhile, Pedrosa was speculated to end up with the new Yamaha team in collaboration with the Sepang International Circuit that will join the grid next year. However, the 32-year-old has decided to hang his leathers for good.
The 2018 MotoGP has 11 races left and we do hope to see Dani Pedrosa making the most out of his time on the track for himself and the fans. The rider though certainly deserves a grand exit for his contribution.