Giberneau hangs up his helmet

Veteran MotoGP rider Sete Gibernau has retired from the sport after being dropped by the Ducati Marlboro team.

Veteran MotoGP rider Sete Gibernau has retired from the sport after being dropped by the Ducati Marlboro team.

The 33-year-old Spaniard, who twice finished runner-up in the world championship, has quit despite offers to ride for other teams next season.

A series of injuries kept Gibernau out of action for several months this season and he has decided to stop racing after 11 years in the MotoGP class.

"I am going out at the top, accomplishing a small dream of mine: to be happy," said Gibernau.

"I dreamed of being world champion and I have enjoyed myself winning races, leading the championship, coming second twice. I have come further than I ever could have imagined."

Meanwhile, Gresini Honda's Marco Melandri has had surgery on his left arm in a bid to cure a long-standing problem.

The Italian also faces another operation to fix a problem with his right leg, which has prevented him from training properly and seen him ride in pain for the whole of the 2006 season.

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