Carlos Checa To Retire From Racing

Carlos Checa is to retire from racing. The 41-year-old Spaniard had been forced to skip the last four rounds of the 2013 World Superbike season after crashing heavily during practice at the Istanbul Park circuit in Turkey, fracturing his pelvis. That injury and the lack of a strong offer for the 2014 season caused Checa to decide to retire.

Checa's final season had been a very hard one, the Spanish veteran struggling to get to grips with the Ducati Panigale, while the Alstare team battled Ducati over the lack of development for Ducati's flagship superbike. After a solitary pole at the first race of the year in Phillip Island, Checa's season proved to be fruitless, not managing a single podium and scoring just 80 points, putting him currently 15th in the standings. Checa had held talks with both his former team Althea Racing and with Kawasaki, but after Kawasaki re-signed Loris Baz to race alongside Tom Sykes, Checa felt his best option was to retire.

Checa's career had been a long one. Checa first entered Grand Prix racing in 1993, where he spent half a season in 125s and then in 250s. Checa soon graduated to 500s with some success, winning two Grand Prix and scoring a total of 24 podiums. His best championship finish was 4th place in 1998, riding a Movistar Honda.

After running out of options in MotoGP after the 2007 season, he switched to World Superbikes, following in the footsteps of Max Biaggi, and with similar success. He joined the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team in 2008, winning two races. Two years' later, he switched to Ducati, making a return to the factory for which he rode in MotoGP. The return was successful, Checa becoming WSBK champion in 2011. He leaves racing with an impressive record. From 150 races, Checa took 24 wins and 49 podiums, as well as his one world title.

Checa is due to hold a press conference on Saturday, to announce his retirement officially.

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I think passion is the best word that comes to mind. He was an approachable, no BS style of guy. Not too much complaining. Just give him a good bike to ride. In GP he may have had some rough patches...but in the end, he just got on with his job.

I think he came to WSB at the right time. He had a good run up until now. I wish the best for him in his future.

Not many can say they had a career as long and as fruitful. And he managed to be a pretty good dude, too.

He's still fast but I guess the time has come.

While his career can be said to have ended on a Ducati, it's not fair to say it was ended by one.

I know that people with the kind of drive that results in GP podia and WSBK World Championships have a hard time being satisfied with their accomplishments. Carlos, I hope you can be satisfied, and be happy in retirement. Thank You!

Definitely one of my shortest-list favorite racers of all time. Loved to watch him ride, and also figure he'd be great to get a beer with.

Also loved it when he won a WSBK title at my age :)

Wishing Carlos all the best. A real class act in racing, and a very accomplished career. Kudos to him for putting in such a long career in racing, and earning a championship even in his later years. Probably the best move for him at this point the way things have aligned.

Muchas gracias mi amigo. I will remember your wonderful 2012 season as a beautiful bow out. SUPER good guy and outstanding racer con corazon y juevos. Via con dios Carlos.

Sad to see him go but relieved he chose to do so. It's a shame he's not going out on top like Biaggi did, but it's a relief to seem him depart in relatively good health. That broken pelvis will heal but you never know about the next injury and he's been through a lot in his career.

All the best, Carlos!

I remember some good battles with Vale and Max in MotoGP.
I was very happy to see him finally become a WC. As nice and approachable as serious on his job.
All the best Carlos

Carlos is one of the true gentlemen in the sport. I'll miss watching him, but am happy that he'll be leaving relatively healthy. Good luck, Carlos!