Troy Corser has announced that he is hanging up his helmet following the conclusion of the 2011 World Superbike Championship season, ending an international racing career that has spanned some 17 years.

The Australian's imminent retirement had been anticipated after his current employers BMW confirmed its rider line-up for 2012 would include Leon Haslam and Marco Melandri, leaving him with few other competitive options.

As such, Corser will retire aged 39, leaving a legacy that yielded two WSBK titles in 1996 and 2005, 33 race wins, 43 pole positions, 130 podiums and more than 4,000 points over 377 races.

Indeed, after 17 years in the top flight, Corser feels the time has come for him to bring a glittering motorcycling career to an end, the fan favourite leaving a brief, but succinct, message on his Twitter profile to confirm speculation.

"Retirement is not a word I would normally use. Finishing my bike racing career and starting a new career at 40 sounds better. Racer forever."

One of the most successful riders in WSBK history, Corser has competed for Ducati, Aprilia, Petronas, Suzuki, Yamaha and BMW during his time in the series, establishing himself as one of the most versatile riders on the grid, one that often earned him a reputation as a valued 'development rider'.

Concluding his time in the series as a BMW rider, Corser will start the final two races of his WSBK career from 18th position on the grid.