Champion Ryan Villopoto Retires
Villopotto is ending one of most successful careers in the sport’s history. His professional attitude, fighting spirit and respect towards other riders, manufacturers, sponsors, and fans including career results are a prime example to many young riders and will continue to inspire them.
Ryan is a six-time motocross champion in competitive racing.
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Villopoto said in a statement that he is still in severe discomfort after a crash this April that left him with multiple tailbone fractures and compressed disks in his lower back. The 26-year-old rider from Fortuna, California, joined Jeremy McGrath as the only riders to win four straight Supercross titles with his victory in 2014 before leaving to race in Europe.
It is with gratitude, humility, a bit of sadness but without regret, that I announce my retirement from motorcycle racing today.
My initial thought was that I could be back riding in a few weeks if I just stayed quiet for a while. Follow-up X-Rays have made clear that I also suffered severe compression of multiple disks in my lower back. I am still in significant discomfort and I realize that even if I start my fitness program and training now that I been cleared by my physician, I will not be able, prior to the end of the MXGP season, to achieve the fitness necessary for me to compete at the level I have always striven for.
I am grateful for having had the opportunity to do something I have loved since I was a kid and turn it into my livelihood.
I am grateful for the support of my many sponsors through the years. In motocross, the sponsors aren’t just a name on your jersey they are part of your racing team. If they are good, they are sponsors in the truest sense of the word. So, with that in mind, first and foremost I want to thank Kawasaki, which has been my bike of choice since my Team Green days. Thanks also to DC, GoPro, Oakley, Alpinestars, Atlas and Mobius Braces. Each of you has been an integral part of making this an amazing career.
But most of all, I’m writing this retirement note to my fans. I am grateful for the hundreds of thousands of fans, not only in the U.S., but throughout the world. It is amazing to know that you have cared so much and been so supportive along the way.
I leave with no regrets. I have been blessed to experience so much of life through my racing. I have never wanted to disappoint my fans nor my supporters and my hope is that for the most part I have lived up to that.
Again, thanks to each and every one of you who have been a part of my team.
Photo: supercrosslive.com Article: foxsports.com
Complete article http://www.foxsports.com/motor/story/ryan-villopoto-supercross-motocross-retires-070915