Fonsi Nieto has announced he is hanging up his helmet after conceding he will not fully recover from a serious foot injury sustained during the 2010 Moto2 World Championship season.
The Spaniard had been due to line up on the 2011 grid with G22 Racing, but pre-season fitness training has revealed lingering after-effects to his foot, which was injured in an accident at Indianapolis last season.
Faced with the idea that he wouldn't be able to compete to his full ability, Nieto has instead chosen to retire from racing altogether.
“I've weighed up this decision during the past few days and have spoken with my family and my cousins, which includes the team I was due to ride with this year. I did not want any problems or misunderstandings, and I think they were glad when I told them.”
“I go to the gym every day but after five minutes I have to stop. Faced with the possibility of not being able to do everything I wanted to properly, I preferred to retire, although this is a decision I will have to deal with forever.
“I know how I raced motorbikes and I also rode with Kato and Tomizawa. Now I know I'm going to walk away from competition, something that others haven't been able to do,” added Nieto in reference to the Japanese riders who suffered fatal accidents.”
Nieto has had a long career in two-wheel racing, the highlight of which was his run to second position in the 250cc World Championship in 2002. However, he also found success in the World Superbike Championship, proving a race winner for Suzuki in 2008 on the way to sixth position in the overall standings.
After controversially losing that ride for 2009, Nieto didn't return to full-time competition until 2010 when he switched to Moto2 as part of the Holiday Gym G22 team. However, his results proved inconsistent, with Nieto only breaking into the top ten on three occasions, though he was lucky to escape death when he went into respiratory arrest following an adverse reaction to pain killers being used to treat his injury.