Loris Capirossi will call an end his long grand prix career at the end of the 2011 MotoGP season.
The Italian - fighting back tears - announced the news on the eve of his final home grand prix, at Misano this weekend (pictured).
"It's difficult for me to say this because after 22 seasons this will be my last race in Italy because I have decided to stop," said Loris.
"I have thought a lot about stopping and I think this is the right decision for me. I would like to say 'thank you' to everybody who has supported me.
"It will be difficult to get my 100th podium, but I''ll fight to the end.
"As for my future, I still don''t have clear ideas. The only sure thing is that I won''t be a racer anymore.
"In life, it''s not easy to make these decisions, especially after so many years. Still, I''m sure that my new life will be thrilling, just like the one before it was.”"
Capirossi made his 125cc debut back in 1990, winning the title in his very first season. He successfully defended his crown the following year, before moving to 250cc.
Capirossi then made his 500cc debut in 1995 and took his first premier-class win the following year.
A return to 250cc followed and Capirossi took a third world title under controversial circumstances for Aprilia in 1998, when he collided with team-mate Tetsuya Harada.
Since 2000 Capirossi has been a full-time 500cc/MotoGP rider, initially with Honda Pons - with whom he took one win, 15 podiums and third in the 2001 world championship.
Capirossi then joined the new Ducati MotoGP project for 2003, handing the Italian factory a race victory, five other podiums and fourth in the championship during a dream debut season.
2004 was far tougher for the Bologna-based team, but a surprise switch from Michelin to Bridgestone tyres for 2005 helped Capirossi claim two wins and set the scene for his best ever MotoGP season.