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MotoGP: Riders pay tribute to retiring Colin Edwards

By CNN Staff
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
Colin Edwards has announced that he is to bring an end to his 22-year motorbike racing career at the end of 2014. Colin Edwards has announced that he is to bring an end to his 22-year motorbike racing career at the end of 2014.
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Edwards to call it a day
Double world champion
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • MotoGP riders pay tribute to Colin Edwards after he announces plans to retire
  • Edwards to retire at the end of 2014 after a 22-year career
  • The Grand Prix of the Americas, the second race of the season, takes place Sunday

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(CNN) -- MotoGP riders have led tributes to Colin Edwards after he announced his decision to retire from the sport at the end of 2014.

Edwards, 40, is opting to bring the curtain down on a 22-year career that has brought him much success across the spectrum of motorbike racing.

The American, currently with NGM Forward Racing, arrived in MotoGP in 2003 and has gone on to rack up 12 podium finishes since then.

However, his most memorable triumphs came during his World Superbike days, landing the World Championship twice in 2000 and 2002.

Edwards, who recorded a ninth-place finish in last month's season-opening Grand Prix of Qatar, revealed the news of his impending plans ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix of the Americas.

Read: Marquez holds off Rossi to win MotoGP opener

"In testing this year I could see that I need to change my riding style and it is against my instinct to ride differently so that has had an effect," he told reporters.

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"I want to spend more time with my wife and my children and of course I want to say thanks to Yamaha and everyone who has helped me in my career."

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Edwards' achievements since turning professional in 1992 have not gone unnoticed, with a number of his peers lining up to offer glowing tributes.

Vettel: 'It will be a long season'

Marc Marquez, who became the youngest ever rider to win the MotoGP World Championship last year at the age of 20, was full of praise for the American's longevity.

"Colin started riding at the top when I was just two years old," he said. "I hope I can ride for as long as he has and I think he can be really proud of his career."

Read: Schumacher shows 'moments of consciousness'

Six-time MotoGP world champion, Valentino Rossi, was sorry to hear of the news and feels the sport will be losing a great in Edwards.

"I am very sad about the news of Colin's retirement as he is one of my best friends in the paddock," he said. "He is a great guy and a great rider."

Edwards' compatriot Nicky Hayden, meanwhile, added: "I always look at Colin and admire the energy he has with so many miles and so many years behind him.

"It's a shame to be losing a fellow American from the sport. I hope he takes it easy for the rest of the year and takes it easy on the rest of us!"

The Grand Prix of the Americas, the second race of the new MotoGP season, takes place Sunday.

Read: Hamilton beats Rosberg in Mercedes 1-2

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