In the DAZN Spain documentary “Cuatro Tiempos”, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa explain what goes through a rider’s head
Every sportsperson will announcement their retirement sooner or later. Whether they’ve gone down in the history of their sport or failed to achieve anything great. Two legends like Dani and Jorge have filled entire books with the motorcycle racing feats. On the one side, the ‘samurai’, the rider who competed for the Honda team for most of his career, and facing him, five-time champion Lorenzo, the cynical star.
In the latest edition of “Cuatro Tiempos”, the pair explain what goes through a rider’s mind when they start thinking about retirement.
Dani Pedrosa and his retirement
"It’s like something that continues to knock on the door, little by little, or at least that’s what happened to me. One day you have an unexpected feeling, but you carry on. And then, a long while later, another knock, and it’s as if you’re refusing to acknowledge it”, he tells DAZN .
This is how the Spaniard describes the period leading up to his decision to leave the world championship.
"And then in the end those calls become increasingly frequent and then one day I crashed with another rider and they had to operate on my hand. I was in hospital, I woke up from the surgery and my parents were there and I told them ‘it’s over’. I no longer wanted to be in hospital every day. That’s what led me to take the decision more seriously."
When you start to get older and the new generation is putting you to the test, it’s hard to react and very few have been able to adapt and continue to be competitive, riding for as long as possible. But even a perfectionist and “grafter” like Jorge had to stop eventually.
“At times you say ‘what am I doing here’?” adds Lorenzo, who retired in 2019.
Alex Criville: “For some it comes sooner, for others later”
The two Spaniard were joined by two-time world champion Criville, who triumphed in 125 in 1989 and in the 500 class in 1999. He too explains the feelings he had while trying to come to a decision.
“It’s different for every rider. Some retire because they no longer have a competitive bike, others because they’ve already achieved their goals… In my case, it was because I was no longer physically fit, I had vertigo, and so I had to stop.
I went to Canada and they told me I couldn’t continue racing. I even had a pre-contract signed with Yamaha and said ‘this is how close I am’. I got up in the morning and said ‘I can’t carry on’ and announced my retirement.”