Jorge Lorenzo has announced his retirement from MotoGP.
Having moved from Ducati to Honda 12 months ago, the Spaniard has struggled badly.
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Lorenzo has suffered a series of career-threatening injuries – including a broken vertebrae – and has found it difficult to get to grips with the RC213V.
Despite being a three-time MotoGP champion, he hasn’t managed a top-10 finish this season.
"I've always thought there are four significant days in the life of a rider; your first race, first win, first world championship, and then the day you retire," he said.
"As you all imagined, I'm here to announce that this day has arrived for me. This will be my last race in MotoGP."
Lorenzo, who looked emotional throughout the announcement, apologised to Honda and team manager Alberto Puig.
"But I think this is the best decision – because Honda and Jorge Lorenzo are both winners. We need to fight for wins,” he added.
Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has confirmed Lorenzo will be given a special honour next season.
”As soon as I heard the decision of Jorge, we spoke with the FIM and I'm pleased to say that Jorge will be made a MotoGP Legend during the next Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez,” he explained.
Marc Marquez will now need a new team-mate in the Honda garage.
Johann Zarco looks the most likely contender.
The experienced Frenchman has been temporarily riding for LCR Honda while Takaaki Nakagami recovers from surgery.
Zarco parted company with KTM in August, but has plenty of races under his belt in the premier class.
British star Cal Crutchlow is also an option having never had a factory seat before.
- Jorge Lorenzo
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