After 20 years of world-level racing and a world championship in World Superbike in 2011, Carlos Checa has officially decided to retire from the sport.

Checa, who turned 41 just a few days ago, made his debut on the world scene back in 1993, when he took part in the GP 250 championship. In the twenty years that followed, he went on to compete in the 500cc, MotoGP and Superbike championships. Having raced on virtually every manufacturer during this time, he signed with Ducati’s World Superbike effort in 2010, where he finished third overall. The following year, however, all the stars aligned in his favor as he won the world title aboard the Althea Racing Team Ducati 1198.

Unfortunately, Checa couldn’t repeat that success again, especially after switching to Ducati’s ground breaking 1199 Panigale. Injuries suffered in a crash last month in Istanbul has meant Checa couldn’t celebrate the end of his career the way he would have wanted — on the track — but this isn’t the last we’ll see of the likable Spaniard.

Ducati has confirmed that Checa will still serve as a brand ambassador, allowing him to continue to collaborate with Borgo Panigale as a very special Ducatista. Also, in celebration of Carlos’ 20 years of competiton, Nolan created a commemorative helmet, with special graphics dedicated to this important milestone. Lastly, the circuit of Jerez has dedicated a portion of its Hall of Fame to Checa in appreciation of his accomplishments and contribution to the sport.

In response, here’s what Checa had to say:

“This year I am celebrating twenty years of racing at world championship level. I am extremely proud of this long sporting career, which has given me many special memories of all the teams I have worked with. I have had the opportunity to compete at the highest level, riding the best bikes and winning against the best rivals. My aim has always been to discover my limits and to be able to take a close look at myself in order to continue to learn, grow and become a better rider and a better person. This is something that would not have possible without taking this path, full of risk, but which has also provided me with great challenges, adversaries and emotions; a long climb which culminated with my best season in 2011. There is a moment that will always arrive in the life of a sportsman, the day on which you say enough is enough. This day has arrived for me today. It was not an easy decision, but one that I’ve thought long and hard about. I am grateful to the entire motorcycle family, to those who make it possible for this world to exist and especially to those who have supported me and followed me from the start, for having given me the opportunity to pursue my dream and live a life that I wouldn’t have changed for any other. I will now move on to discover new things about myself, a new and stimulating phase now begins for me in Ducati. It will take time to adapt but I am confident about my future and the satisfactions that it will surely continue to give me. Thanks again to everyone for being here to support me on what is a very special day for me, definitely emotional but also unforgettable.”