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Carl Fogarty
"I don't have a a choice, it's not as if I want to retire."
 real 14k

BBC Five Live's Nick Harris
reports on Fogarty's announcement
 real 14k

Thursday, 21 September, 2000, 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK
Fogarty retirement forced by injury
Carl Fogarty: Has announced retirement
Carl Fogarty: Has announced his retirement
World champion Carl Fogarty has announced that he is retiring from superbike racing.

He revealed his decision in a statement made with his Ducati team, saying it was time for him to call it a day.

Fogarty has not raced since smashing his arm in a horrific crash in Australia six months ago.

He made his decision after a test this week to discover whether he was fit enough to return, but he found that his injured shoulder was not up to the job.

"The time has now come to have the strength to leave racing," Fogarty said.

"I knew that it would come sooner or later. I want to do it now and leave everyone with the memory of a victorious Foggy with number 1 on my Ducati."

Pain

The 34-year-old took the decision after testing his physical condition aboard a Ducati 996 at the Mugello circuit in Italy at the start of the week.

The Blackburn-born rider had considerable difficulty maintaining a correct racing position on the bike and was no longer able to ride in a natural way.

"I'm a long way from being in the condition I hoped to be in," Fogarty said. "Even if I speed up rehabilitation work, I don't think I will be able to reach the necessary performance level to be competitive enough next season.


I was in so much pain after two laps I couldn't believe it. It was a complete disaster. I felt like one per cent of the guy I was. It proved what the specialist had said
  Carl Fogarty

"I would no longer have the chance of going for victory. I have had a fantastic career and I can be very satisfied with what I have done for motorcycling. I don't think I have to demonstrate anything else."

Fogarty won his first world title in 1994 and also took the championship in 1995, 1998 and 1999.

Medical opinion on his left shoulder, which was operated on in April after a crash at the Phillip Island round of the championship, had ruled out a return to the track.

"The doctors told me I would never be the same person I was, that I wouldn't be able to ride a bike like I did," he told BBC Radio Five Live. "I didn't want to believe them, but it's true.

"[At Mugello], I was in so much pain after two laps I couldn't believe it. It was a complete disaster. I felt like one per cent of the guy I was. It proved what the specialist had said."

A Ducati spokesman told the BBC on Thursday: "Today is a very sad day for us."

Shockwaves

But the company added that it would continue to work with Fogarty.

"The living legend of Superbike will remain a testimonial for Ducati throughout the world with a series of initiatives, which will be defined in the next few months," the statement said.

The four-time world champion has just returned from testing to see whether he was able to withstand the intensity of racing.

The 34-year-old's retirement is likely to send shockwaves throughout superbikes and to the many thousands of his fans, who last caught a glimpse of their hero when he rode a few laps at Brands Hatch last month.

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See also:

04 Aug 00 |  Motorsport
The rise and rise of Foggy
01 Sep 00 |  Motorsport
Chance to shine for Foggy's heir
06 Aug 00 |  AudioVideo
Foggy's back
04 Aug 00 |  Motorsport
Foggy to get back on his bike
21 Sep 00 |  Photo Galleries
Carl Fogarty - snapshots of his career
21 Sep 00 |  Motorsport
Hometown hero bows out for good
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