Former World Superbike Champion and Grand Prix racer Carlos Checa announced his retirement from the sport yesterday, the popular Spaniard making the announcement in front of journalists, colleagues, sponsors and friends on the eve of the World Championship finale at the Jerez circuit in Spain.

“This year I am celebrating 20 years of racing at the World Championship level,” Checa said. “I am extremely proud of this long sporting career, which has given me many special memories of all the teams I have worked with. I have had the opportunity to compete at the highest level, riding the best bikes and winning against the best rivals. My aim has always been to discover my limits and to be able to take a close look at myself in order to continue to learn, grow and become a better rider and a better person. This is something that would not have possible without taking this path, full of risk, but which has also provided me with great challenges, adversaries and emotions; a long climb which culminated with my best season in 2011.

“There is a moment that will always arrive in the life of a sportsman, the day on which you say enough is enough. This day has arrived for me today. It was not an easy decision, but one that I’ve thought long and hard about. I am grateful to the entire motorcycle family, to those who make it possible for this world to exist and especially to those who have supported me and followed me from the start, for having given me the opportunity to pursue my dream and live a life that I wouldn’t have changed for any other. I will now move on to discover new things about myself, a new and stimulating phase now begins for me in Ducati. It will take time to adapt, but I am confident about my future and the satisfactions that it will surely continue to give me. Thanks again to everyone for being here to support me on what is a very special day for me, definitely emotional but also unforgettable.”

Checa, who celebrated his 41st birthday just a few days ago, made his debut on the world scene back in 1993 when he took part in the 250cc World Championship. In the 20 years that followed, he went on to compete in the 500cc GPs, MotoGP and World Superbike Championships. Having raced with Ducati in MotoGP in 2005, 2010 saw Checa return to Ducati but this time in the World Superbike Championship. He finished third in the title chase in 2010 and the following year he wont he World Championship.

 Unfortunately Checa has not been able to end his career as he would have wanted, due to a bad accident at Istanbul last month that has prevented him

Ducati took the opportunity to confirm that Checa will have a role as ambassador, allowing the Catalonian to continue to collaborate with Borgo Panigale as a very special Ducatista.

"The decision that Carlos has taken is a very important one,” said Ducati’s Ernesto Marinelli. “Carlos has carried out key, constructive work for us over the years together, and the winning of the world title in 2011 is proof that, together, we have been able to achieve important goals. It goes without saying that we are extremely appreciative and it’s important that we show him this with our affection and recognition. We will continue to collaborate in the future, and having him as an ambassador of our brand is an honor for us, and will surely please all of the Ducatistas. I therefore like to think that this is not the end of a book, but simply the start of a new chapter.”

By Cycle News Staff

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