When Alex De Angelis first set foot in the world championship, he was 15 years old and not even he would have expected it to become his home for over twenty years. There’s practically no motorcycle that he hasn’t ridden: 125, 250, Moto2, MotoGP, SBK, MotoE. The two Le Mans races will be the last for him. He’s decided to retire, after 276 races, 4 wins, 40 podiums, and 12 pole positions.
“When you’re a rider simply because you like it, you love it, it’s hard to know when it’s time to stop, but today is that day,” he said at Le Mans, his voice broken by his emotions. “I’ve been in the paddock for twenty years, it’s my family, and I’ve been lucky to have found people who haven’t only made me a good rider, but a man.”
Why did you reach this decision?
“I have too many jobs,” he said laughing.” I’ll stop being a rider, but won’t be leaving the paddock. I’m a pit reporter for Sky, a riding instructor, and I have my team in the Italian championship. I want to dedicate more time to young riders.”
“I have to thank many people, but especially the Pramac team that gave me the opportunity to race in the MotoE. I practically rode in all the classes. I only need the 500.They told me there was a bike for me for next year too but, at that moment, I realized that the decision to quit came from my heart. It was time for me to change direction.”
When did you start thinking about retirement?
“At the beginning of the year, when we set up the team for the CIV. I started thinking that I couldn’t be a rider and team manager, but I thought it would take three or four years to make up my mind,” he said laughing. "I know that you can’t keep your foot in two shoes, you have to do one thing well. I decided earlier than expected, I didn’t want to stop, since I’m still fast, but the young riders of the MotoE made me understand that it wasn’t quite like that,” he said as he laughed again.
What’s the best memory of your career?
“Luckily, I have many. The first, however, is my first wild card in the 125 in Imola in 1999. On Friday, I had ended up on the track alongside the riders I used to see on TV. I had become one of them, and it’s a feeling that I’ll never forget. Then there’s the first podium, the first victory but, above all, the second place in the MotoGP at Indianapolis, ahead of Nicky Hayden. I was lucky. I had a good career.”
How will you face this last weekend as a rider?
“As always, when you lower your visor, you just want to give it your all. I don’t know what’ll happen. It’ll be a little different, but I already knew in Misano that it would have been the last time on that track, and I set the circuit record,” he said laughing.