UPDATE: Nakano has officially announced his retirement from motorcycle racing, saying “I think it’s time to stop and I have decided to retire. Thanks to everyone who has supported me during 13 years as a professional racer and eleven years in the world championships. Now, if my experience is a little help, I want to contribute to the motorcycle industry. I look forward to seeing everyone at the track in the near future, this time in a different capacity.”
Multiple sites are hinting that Shinya Nakano, teammate to Maxi Biaggi on the factory Aprilia WSBK team, could be announcing his retirement from World Superbike racing as early as today. Expected to make the announcement in a press conference in Japan, the Japanese rider would be retiring after 13 years of racing, and on the eve of his 32nd birthday.
Nearly a 250 GP Champion in 2000, Nakano switched out of MotoGP to race with the Factory Aprilia team in WSBK this past season. While the Japanese rider had some good finishes (taking 4th place s in Race 1 at Losail), he was plagued by injuries as the 2009 season came to an end.
His string of injuries first started when he broke his collarbone at Valenica back in April, and then resurfaced as Nakano began to suffer from neck pain that kept him out of the final rounds of the season.
Aprilia has yet to announce who their new rider will be, but since Leon Camier is testing at Portimao this weeks, so we can assume that that Giampiero Sacchi is seriously considering Camier to join Max Biaggi on the RSV4 Factory in 2010.