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Honda MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa has announced he will retire from grand prix motorcycle racing at the end of 2018.

Pedrosa, who will turn 33 in September, broke the news in a special press conference ahead of this weekend’s German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring.

The Catalan rider had been part of the Repsol Honda works set-up since 2006, but was left without a ride for next year when the team signed Jorge Lorenzo as his replacement for 2019.

While no factory options were left available by that point, Lorenzo’s Honda move left Pedrosa as the highest-profile target for Yamaha’s new satellite operation, the Sepang circuit-owned SIC Racing Team.

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However, Pedrosa has now confirmed that he will instead end his stint in MotoGP having competed only on Honda machinery since his debut grand prix racing season in 2001.

“This is a decision that I’ve been thinking for a long time, it’s a very, very hard decision because this is the sport I love,” Pedrosa said.

“But despite having good opportunities to keep racing, I feel like I don’t live racing with such an intensity as before – and I now have different priorities in my life.”

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After winning the 125cc title in 2003 and back-to-back 250cc titles in the two following seasons, Pedrosa has been an ever-present frontrunner in MotoGP despite frequent injuries, some of which had threatened to end his career early.

He has so far amassed 31 wins and 112 podiums in the premier class, but has missed out on a MotoGP title, finishing runner-up on three occasions – to Ducati’s Casey Stoner in 2007, and to then-Yamaha rider Lorenzo in 2010 and 2012.