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Alzamora becomes the third rider to announce retirement in Valencia

Alzamora becomes the third rider to announce retirement in Valencia

Alzamora becomes the third rider to announce retirement in Valencia

Emilio Alzamora, the 1999 125cc World Champion, is retiring from Grand Prix racing after the final round of the 2003 series at Valencia this weekend.

The 30 year old is calling time on his World Championship career after a difficult season with the Derbi factory team claiming his will to win is no longer at the heights required for the level of racing.

Alzamora held a press conference today at the circuit to announce his decision in what is becoming a popular farewell GP. Fellow 125c veterans Masao Azuma and Lucio Cecchinello are also hanging up their leathers after the race on Sunday.

The Spaniard has had a torrid time this year returning to the class in which he claimed the crown only just four years ago and after a short spell in the 250cc category. His link-up with Derbi created a Spanish ‘dream-team' that was also bolstered by the sponsorship of Spanish bank Caja Madrid. Sadly the backroom technical changes at the Catalan based firm did not make Alzamora or GP rookie Jorge Lorenzo's job any easier at the start of the 2003 campaign. While Lorenzo has grown in confidence with some impressive results Alzamora has looked like a shadow of his former speed and ability taking 15 races to notch his first point.

Now, at his third home event of the year, the popular rider has declared his intentions to remain in the sport but will swing his leg over a GP motorcycle for the last time this weekend.

"I have to be honest and admit that maybe this year I did not have the strength to overcome the challenge that was presented to me," he said. "After 10 seasons as an active member of the World Championships, always giving my best, I have realized that, for a multitude of circumstances and reasons, I've lost the bite that won my World Championship, as well as things like the drive and motivation to hold the privileged position of being a GP racer. I would like to thank all the people who have supported me through my career. Since I was 14 years old I have been very lucky to be a part of this world, which has given me so much. My new vision is return some of that debt to the sport; using my knowledge and experience in a new form that I will hope to announce very shortly."

125cc, 2003, Gran Premio Marlboro de la Comunitat Valenciana

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