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(Reuters) - Former world superbike champion and MotoGP veteran Colin Edwards announced on Thursday he would be retiring from racing at the end of the 2014 season.
The 40-year-old Texan was a double world champion in superbikes but never had the same success in MotoGP, where he has raced since 2003 without winning.
"I don't even know how to say it, I rehearsed it so many times - 2014 will be my last year racing motorcycles," the 'Texas Tornado' said ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
The Houston-born rider was team mate to Italian great Valentino Rossi at Yamaha from 2005-07 before making way for Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo, now a double world champion.
"I am very sad about the news of Colin's retirement, as he is one of my best friends in the paddock. He is a great guy and a great rider," said the nine times world champion Rossi.
MotoGP's 21-year-old world champion, Marc Marquez, added: "Colin started riding at the top when I was just two years old. I hope I can ride for as long as he has."
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Stephen Wood