Carlos Checa is to retire from racing. The 41-year-old Spaniard had been forced to skip the last four rounds of the 2013 World Superbike season after crashing heavily during practice at the Istanbul Park circuit in Turkey, fracturing his pelvis. That injury, and the lack of a strong offer for the 2014 season, caused Checa to decide to retire.
Checa’s final season has been a very hard one, the Spanish veteran struggling to get to grips with the Ducati Panigale, while the Alstare team battled Ducati over the lack of development for Ducati’s flagship superbike.
After a solitary pole at the first race of the year in Phillip Island, Checa’s season has proven to be fruitless — managing not a single podium and scoring just 80 points, which puts him currently 15th in the standings.
Checa had held talks with both his former team Althea Racing and with Kawasaki, but after Kawasaki re-signed Loris Baz to race alongside Tom Sykes, Checa felt his best option was to retire.
Checa’s career has been a long one. Checa first entered Grand Prix racing in 1993, where he spent half a season in 125’s and then in 250’s. Checa soon graduated to 500’s with some success, winning two Grand Prix and scoring a total of 24 podiums. His best championship finish was 4th place in 1998, riding a Movistar Honda.
After running out of options in MotoGP after the 2007 season, he switched to World Superbikes, following in the footsteps of Max Biaggi, and with similar success.
He joined the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team in 2008, winning two races. Two years later, he switched to Ducati, making a return to the factory for which he rode in MotoGP.
The return was successful, Checa becoming WSBK champion in 2011. He leaves racing with an impressive record. From 150 races, Checa took 24 wins and 49 podiums, as well as his one world title.
Checa is due to hold a press conference on Saturday, to announce his retirement officially.