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Sebas Porto announces retirement from motorcycle racing

Sebas Porto announces retirement from motorcycle racing

Sebas Porto announces retirement from motorcycle racing

Argentine 250cc star Sebas Porto today announced his shock decision to retire from the racing. Porto made the statement at a press conference held at 5pm in front of the assembled media at the Circuit de Catalunya, scene of this weekend's Grand Prix. Porto, a successful rider who won many titles in his homeland, was expected to achieve great things after a move to the Repsol Honda team at the beginning of the season but, after struggling to find harmony between himself and the bike, was well behind the leading riders in the category.

In his speech to the media, Porto explained how he reached the decision to leave behind what has occupied the larger part of his life:

"It's difficult to express how I feel at the moment. It was a difficult start to the season and I have tried to adapt, but I am here before you today to announce that my sporting career is over with immediate effect." It was a totally personal decision. I have always been a sincere person and I don't like to kid myself. Repsol Honda have been a great team, probably the greatest with which I have ridden in my entire career, with highly professional people. But the bike wasn't allowing me to fight for the win in races, due to the fact that we just weren't compatible. It is my adaptation that has been the problem." Winning in Europe isn't easy and, although I never won a World Championship, I can be happy with the other titles that I have won. I really want to thank everyone, and I should reiterate that it has been totally my decision, not one made by Repsol, Alberto Puig or any other party. There were no team conflicts and they always cared for me. The media have also been very good to me, despite me being from so far away and not one of their home riders, so I need to thank them for that. Now I don't feel that I have the motivation that you need to have in order to win races. It was a hard decision, but all the time away from home, living in hotels and travelling from airport to airport has taken its toll and I am really tired. I started to think about this decision around two weeks ago and now I think the time is right." Team Manager Alberto Puig spoke of his sadness to see Porto leave his team, and how Repsol Honda will go about finding a replacement.

"Sebas has made a brave decision, won which deserves a special kind of respect. The team continues, even though he was our main rider.

This is motorbike racing, not tennis. There are so many dangers involved that you can't force people to take part when they don't feel that it is what they want to do. We will still continue to support Sebas, we waited two weeks for his decision and the bike remains set up for him in the box this Sunday, but from Monday we will start looking for a new rider."

As regards his future post-retirement, Porto listed a number of ideas for projects.

"It is an important life change, but life continues. I would like to stay in the world of motorbikes but if not, then I will look for something else. I might look into helping young riders in Argentina, to give them some of the experiences that I have had."

Tags:
250cc, 2006, GRAN PREMI CINZANO DE CATALUNYA

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