Motorcycling: Injuries call time on Doohan's career

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The Independent Online
MICHAEL DOOHAN, who won the 500cc championship five times between 1994 and 1998, announced his retirement from the sport here yesterday.

The 34-year-old Australian said he had decided to quit because of continuing injury problems since his high-speed crash in qualifying for this year's Spanish Grand Prix. Doohan, one of motorcycling's greatest ever riders, has endured a succession of operations and corrective surgery since crashing at Jerez, in Spain, but all to no avail.

"I had hoped to continue racing but unfortunately it's not possible," he said. "Since the crash I've had three operations and I've done everything I can to get back to full fitness, and now I've got to accept that my body is not up to racing a 500 again."

Doohan plans to retain a strong involvement in the sport with the Honda Racing Corporation. An announcement on his new role will be made next month.

Doohan has competed in 137 grands prix, winning 54, second only to the Italian Giacomo Agostini. He also had 95 top-three podium finishes and 58 pole positions in a 10-year career.

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