Troy Corser has announced that he will retire from racing after 17 years of international competition, one that has seen him secure two World Superbike titles and 33 race wins.

Corser's career began in 1981 racing in local enduro races, but his first competitive Superbike outing wouldn't come until 1990 when he rode a Suzuki GSX-R750 in a one-off Australian Superbike Championship round. Stepping up to the series full-time, he eventually won the title in 1993 aboard a Winfield Honda RC30, and followed it up in 1994 with the AMA Superbike title in the United States on the Ferracci Ducati.

Also in 1994, Corser competed in four WSBK rounds, a prelude to a full-time switch in 1995, where he would mark his arrival by finishing second in the standings to Carl Fogarty aboard the Promotor Ducati 918.

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His first WSBK title duly followed in 1996 with the same team, Corser winning seven races to become Australia's first champion and also the youngest winner at that point.

A misguided foray into the 500cc World Championshipi with Power Horse Yamaha would see him quit after seven rounds, prompting a return to the WSBK fray in 1998 on another Ducati, where he proceeded to finish third overall, a result that was repeated in 1999.

A switch to Aprilia machinery led Corser to more respectable success, if not a title challenge, ending 2000 and 2001 in third and fourth places having yielded seven more victories over the two seasons.

In 2002, Corser would team up with former rival Carl Fogarty as the Briton launched his assault on the series with his own team, utilising a bike being built by the Malaysian Petronas company. Delays in the bike's construction would force Corser to sit out the entire season, but he would stick with the team for 2003 and 2004.

Garnering a reputation as a development rider, Corser's time at Foggy Petronas was a disappointing one, though he did record more promising results in 2004 on the way to ninth overall.

With Foggy Petronas shutting down at the end of the year, Corser switched to Alstare Suzuki, a shrewd move and one that would yield him a second world title, almost ten years after he first one. Eight wins, including six in the first seven races, assured Corser's place in Superbike history, though it would prove to be his last title challenge.

Two early wins aside in 2006, Corser didn't get into the title fight that season, with that victory at Phillip Island proving his last at WSBK level. Indeed, remarkably, though Corser finished fourth for Suzuki in 2006, fifth for Yamaha in 2007 and second for Yamaha in 2008, he would not stand atop the podium again between 2006 and 2011.

Following his run to second in the standings behind countryman Troy Bayliss in 2008, Corser was courted by WSBK newcomers BMW to develop its fledgling S1000RR contender. Despite a slow start, the bike showed flashes of speed towards the end of its maiden season, leading to a much improved 2010 campaign when Corser recorded two podiums and the manufacturer's first pole position at Misano.

Though a poor run of form in the final rounds consigned Corser and BMW to outside the top ten, he remained for 2011, where he was joined by Leon Haslam. However, Corser has been comfortably out-performed by his younger team-mate, Corser finishing inside the top five just once.

Prompting BMW to look elsewhere for 2012, Melandri will come on board in Corser's place, the WSBK veteran taking the opportunity to call time on his WSBK career rather than seek a new ride.

Despite a somewhat unflattering end to his career, Corser is still regarded as one of the series' most accomplished riders, while the statistics also mark him as one of the most successful too.

Taking in stints with Ducati, Aprilia, Foggy Petronas, Suzuki, Yamaha and BMW is indicative of Corser's desire to challenge himself over his career. It means, when the 2012 World Superbike Championship gets underway in his Phillip Island backyard next February, the series will be worse off for his absence on the grid...