Fonsi Nieto: “I’ve decided to end my career”
As we reported earlier, it’s been confirmed this weekend that Fonsi Nieto has surprisingly decided to retire from professional racing before the start of the 2011 season, despite already having a Moto2 ride secured. Today Fonsi stepped in front of the press in Madrid to talk about his motives.
Fonsi made clear that the decision was final: “I’ve assessed this decision during the last days and I’ve spoken to my family and my cousins [Gelete and Pablo Nieto] because the team I was going to race with is theirs and I wanted to make sure that there was absolutely no problem or misunderstanding and I think we’re all okay with it.”
Joining the 32-year-old at the press conference were his uncle Angel Nieto as well as his doctor, Angel Villamor, who treated him after the serious foot injuries he suffered from a heavy qualifying crash in Indianapolis last year. “The medical consequences on Fonsi’s foot are virtually irreversible”, said Villamor. “He’s got no feeling in the sole of the foot.”
Nieto confirmed he was still suffering from the injury. “The foot is not 100%. I’m going to the gym and after five minutes I have to stop. When I can’t do things as good as I can or want to anymore, then I certainly prefer to retire, although it is a decision that gives me infinite pain.” Nevertheless, Fonsi was sure it’s been the right decision, also looking at recent incidents in Grand Prix racing: “I know how racing is and I’ve competed against Kato and Tomizawa, but now I can walk away from competing with my head held high, something others couldn’t do. What I lived through after the accident in Indianapolis was quite hefty and the consequences I’m left with are the main reason for this decision, but I hope to continue in the world of motorcycle racing, it is my passion and what I really love.”
His uncle, legendary racer Angel Nieto, commented that he’d have loved for one of his sons – Gelete and Pablo – or his nephew Fonsi to win a world championship and added that “it’s a tough decision Fonsi has taken, because to retire while still wanting to race is very difficult. But I can’t help but congratulate him, because it’s the right thing to do in his case, and especially because in all these years he did some great racing. For Fonsi, as it was at the time for my kids, racing bikes was a dream. A dream they all made into reality and I think in one way or another all of them have achieved a lot in motorcycling. They might not have been champions, but they’ve given far more than what was expected of them.”