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Hodgson Announces Retirement

Thursday, April 22, 2010
Neil Hodgson in action at Brands Hatch 2010.
Hodgson went back to the UK to revive his racing career where it started, but an injury at the first round derailed his plans.
Former World Superbike Champion, MotoGP rider and AMA Superbike competitor Neil Hodgson announced retirement today after re-injuring his shoulder in a crash at the Brands Hatch round of the British Superbike Series. Hodgson had originally hurt the shoulder last year in a motocross training accident in Southern California, basically ending his '09 season while riding for Corona Honda here in the AMA Series. He was able to come back for the last couple rounds but was never 100%.

After not securing a ride in the U.S. for 2010, the likeable Brit returned to his homeland to ride for Rob McElnea's Motorpoint Yamaha team in British Superbike. Unfortunately that was short lived, as he highsided at the opening round of the series and landed directly on his bad shoulder.

“To be honest I’m still pretty shell shocked from Brands,” Hodgson said in a release. “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.
Neil Hodgson rides the Corona Honda in American Superbike.
The likable Brit found a home racing in the U.S. for the past several seasons and as a result has quite a large American fan base.

"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." The 36-year-old Isle of Man resident came to this conclusion after seeing a shoulder specialist in Manchester, England.

Originally optimistic that he could return to racing, he added: "My shoulder will get back to probably 90% over the next couple of years so I will be able to have a normal life, just not one with racing involved."

Hodgson was the 2000 British Superbike Champion and 2003 World Superbike Champion. He also rode a Ducati in MotoGP and was a podium-finishing AMA Superbike rider in the latter part of his career.

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kevin -life isn't fair?  April 23, 2010 03:10 PM
He was a professional racing motorcycle superstar who made it to the highest level of racing. He's still young, he's rich, and he's still healthy. I'm an IT manager. Now that's not fair!

Kidding aside. Neil was the one of the best. Great guy and happy I got to see him run a Duke around Road America before he retired. Good luck to him.
R34 -NH  April 23, 2010 08:51 AM
Never forget when he smoked the field at Laguna in '05 flag to flag on the Duc
bikerrandy -Hodgson retires  April 22, 2010 07:11 PM
A pity really, but he knows it's time. Life isn't fair.
greg - - guess the party's over -  April 22, 2010 05:29 PM
been watching him ever since he was on the HM plant duc back when WSB was running at Laguna - got the signed posters from him & Tosland

I would like to hope Neil stays public in the racing community

good luck Neil!!
RSV4 -Neil  April 22, 2010 04:14 PM
This won't be the last we hear of Neil. He would make a great team manager or rider handler/motivator like Kevin Schwants.

Cheers & best wishes Neil.
Superbikemike -yeap....  April 22, 2010 02:28 PM
ditto.... to what motofreak said....;)
MotoFreak -Hodgson  April 22, 2010 10:38 AM
To the Moto-USA staff - Hire Neil immediately! I'd love to see him do so reviews. He's an awesome guy. (from interviews I've seen)