Hodgson Bows Out

By Kevin Ash - 16/10/2010

Former World Superbike and British Superbike champion Neil Hodgson is retiring from motorcycle racing.

The announcement was made today, April 22, by his Rob Mac Racing Motorpoint Yamaha team after a long medical assessment of his shoulder injury confirmed it will take months or even years to gain enough strength for bike racing.

Hodgson, who was BSB champion in 2000 and WSB champion in 2003, injured the shoulder last season in a motocross crash and needed a long period of surgery to try and correct the damage. Then in the first BSB round this season at Brand Hatch on April 5, he crashed in practice and landed heavily on the same shoulder.

Hodgson is still coming to terms with the decision: “To be honest I‘m still pretty shell-shocked from Brands. When you start the season you know you‘re going to have to take a few knocks but the very first time I slide off I land straight on my shoulder! I knew it was bad, I have lived with it all last year and got to understand the level of weakness and recovery.

“I had more work to do but was really happy with the progress, riding the bike was the best therapy but also the biggest risk.

“I am gutted obviously, I had a plan to come back to the UK and have some fun with Rob and his team. It will take time for me to come to terms with this but it is the right decision. My shoulder will get back to probably 90 per cent over the next couple of years so I will be able to have a normal life.

“For all my fans and all the supporters who have been with me over the years I want to thank them all. To Rob‘s team and sponsors for this year I really am sorry I could not fulfil our plans, the Motorpoint guys and all Rob‘s team have been great and I hope to be part of their success this year.”

Hodgon's place is being taken by 2009 Superbike rookie of the year, 23 year-old Ian Lowry, who team boss Rob McElnea describes as "...one of the most exciting young talents on the grid. We managed to give him a run last week and will test Friday this week. He has a lot to learn in a short time but is very confident in himself and our bike.”

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