Steve Mercer has announced he will hang up his road racing leathers in an emotional statement.
The southerner, who competed for Dafabet Devitt Racing at this year’s key international events, says he’s had a lot to think about since the 2017 TT and has come to the decision that now is the right time to call it a day and focus on a return to the Endurance World Championship.
Mercer enjoyed a colourful career on the roads, including a highlight of two eighth place finishes at the Isle of Man TT, and continued to show promise.
However, after walking away from a nasty crash at the 11th Milestone in practice week at this year’s TT, Mercer has decided to re-evaluate his racing career.
“After a lot of thought since the TT, I feel it is now the right time to walk away from pure road racing,” Mercer said. “I’m 35 and have two wonderful children, a beautiful wife and a great family that has supported me from my very first race back in 2003.
“Since having children it’s so much harder to mentally get on a bike and go flat out down Bray Hill. After crashing at the 11th milestone and completely getting away with it I had to ask myself ‘why am I doing this?’
“When I got back to the paddock from my crash, my five-year-old son asked me ‘Daddy, can you get killed racing?’. I didn’t really know what to say.
“We all know what the answer is, we all know it’s a very dangerous and selfish sport. But it’s things like that that have really started hitting home and for me it’s taken the buzz and enjoyment out of it.
“It’s not just me now, I have a family that need me, they’re more important than any motorcycle race. I feel I’ve had my time racing on the roads, lived on the edge and got away with it. I’ve made some great life-long friends in the paddock and have some wonderful memories that I’ll never forget.
“I still feel young and very fit and can still go fast but I only want to do that now on short circuits. I am very focused on getting back in the EWC paddock as I've always felt that's my strongest discipline and where I've had most success.
"Thank you to everyone involved within road racing and helping me fulfil a big dream that's been a big part of my life. Good luck to everyone in the future. Ride safe.”
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