Shinya Nakano announces retirement

Injuries end 13-year racing career in GP and WSBK

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Oct. 29, 2009
Former MotoGP and World Superbike racer Shinya Nakano has announced his retirement from racing.

The 32-year-old native of Tokyo, Japan, competed in ten Grand Prix racing seasons for Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda before signing with Aprilia in its return to WSBK racing in 2009.

Nakanoís best season was in 2000, finishing second in the 250cc World Championship to his Chesterfield Yamaha Tech 3 teammate, Olivier Jacque. The 2000 season came down to the final race with Jacque beating Nakano to the finish by a fraction of a second.

Aprilia signed Nakano to race with Max Biaggi in the 2009 season on the new RSV4 Factory. Developing an all-new Superbike, the season began positively with Nakano earning fourth- and seventh-place finishes at Round 2 in Qatar. At the following round in Valencia, Spain, however, Nakano crashed during qualifying, breaking his left collarbone.

Shinya Nakano announced his retirement after a difficult season with Aprilia.

The injury kept Nakano out a couple of rounds before he returned at the Monza, Italy, round. Nakano came back to race a couple of rounds before a neck injury ended his season.

The following is a letter from Shinya Nakano issued by Aprilia:

To everyone who have supported me,

I send this news on a short notice, but I have decided to retire from racing at the end of this season.

Iíve concentrated on treatment after breaking my collarbone during Round 3 in Spain and straining my neck in Round 11 in Germany, but by missing a few races, Iíve been a burden to my team as well as to others involved.

If feel that as a professional rider, itís time to stop racing if Iím not in a perfect condition to do so.

Iíve given this a lot of thought the past few weeks, and Iíve come to this decision through my own will.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the motorcycle manufacturers who believed in my potential and offered me contracts, to the sponsors supporting the race, and to the fans that have always supported me.

Because of your support, Iíve been able to ride professionally for 13 years and participate in the World Championships for 11 years, and I have had many precious experiences.

From now on, if I can use such experiences to good use, I would like to keep contributing to the motorcycle world.

I am looking forward to seeing you all in racing circuits in the near future, under different circumstances from now on.

Thank you very much for your support.

Shinya Nakano