MotoGP veteran Loris Capirossi announces his retirement

Loris Capirossi
Capirossi has been on the podium 99 times in his Grand Prix career

Loris Capirossi has confirmed that he will retire from motorcycle racing at the end of the season.

The 38-year-old called time on the longest Grand Prix career in history before the Misano round this weekend.

He made his debut in the 125cc class in 1990 and won two championships at that level before adding the 250cc crown in 1998.

He said: "It is difficult for me to say this after 22 seasons but this for sure is my last race in Italy."

Capirossi, a veteran of 324 Grand Prix, has endured a poor season on the Pramac Ducati but came close to winning the MotoGP championship for Ducati in 2006.

He finished third overall that season and won his last race in 2007.

The popular Italian has offers to continue racing next year in the World Superbike championship but has decided to quit the sport altogether.

"I have decided to retire at the end of the season," he added.

"I won't go to a different championship and I will stop racing completely.

"I have been thinking a lot about stopping and I've kept saying yes and no, but I'm sure I've made the right decision.

"There are a lot of young riders coming really strong and I looked at myself and decided that this was the best time to stop.

"I started to ride when I was only four and now I am 38, and I have done 22 seasons in Grand Prix, so all my life I have been in bikes. Now I've got the rest of my life in front of me to think about what I do."

There are six races left this season, with Capirossi's scheduled last appearance to be in Valencia on 6 November.

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