News 2 Sep 2011

Capirossi announces retirement following 22-year world championship career

Loris Capirossi has announced his retirement at the end of season 2011.

Loris Capirossi has announced his retirement at the end of season 2011.

An emotional Loris Capirossi confirmed on Thursday at Misano that he will retire from the World Championship at the end of the 2011 season.

During the press conference ahead of the Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini at Misano, Capirossi announced to the media that he plans to bring the curtain down on a long and illustrious career at the end of the current campaign – his 22nd in the World Championship.

“First of all I want to say this season for us is really tough, we haven’t found the best solution to go quicker. We have six more races and for both myself and the team I will try to do my best. I will try to get some good results,” said the Pramac Racing rider.

“It’s difficult for me to say this because after 22 seasons this will be my last race in Italy because I have decided to stop. It’s also strange to listen to the other riders talk about testing the new bikes, and I won’t do that.”

As the 38 year-old Italian succumbed to tears he received a standing ovation from the packed press conference room at the Misano World Circuit.

“I have thought a lot about stopping and I think this is the right decision for me. We have a lot of strong and fast riders here,” Capirossi continued.

“I also want to say to the guys to try and help me in the last few races because I have 99 podiums!” he joked, turning to Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Ben Spies who were sat alongside him in the press conference.

“I would like to say thank you to everybody who has supported me, and I will try to be my best in the last few races.”

Fellow Italian Rossi added: “I have a lot of memories (about Loris). I remember his first race in Suzuka in 125cc, and I was a great fan of Loris when he was a rival of (Max) Biaggi!”

“Fighting with him on track has been great. We have had a lot of great battles to the last lap and I remember the fight in the 250s for the Championship in 1999, and then in the 500s. What I remember the most is Mugello and Sepang in 2006, fighting with Loris to the last lap. I think he is one of the best riders in this sport,” Rossi added.

Capirossi made his World Championship debut in 1990, bursting onto the Grand Prix scene in the 125cc category and taking the title at his first attempt aged just 17 years old. He successfully defended his crown the following year and was 250cc World Champion in 1998 having already competed for two full seasons in the 500cc category.

A top-three finisher on board a 500cc two-stroke Honda in 2001 and a factory MotoGP Ducati in 2006, Capirossi currently has 99 World Championship podium finishes to his name.