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International MX News : MX / SX World Championships
11.11.2006 Sébastien Tortelli (FRA) retires
Former 125cc and 250cc world champion (1996, 1998) Sébastien Tortelli (FRA, KTM) has used the opening night of the Paris-Bercy Supercross to announce his retirement from racing. The flying Frenchman, frequently injured in the AMA championships between 1999-2005, returned to Europe in 2006 to try and repeat his 1998 title victory over Stefan Everts during the great Belgian's final season.
Sébastien Tortelli (FRA, KTM)
 photo by: S. Leroux/KTM
Sébastien Tortelli (FRA, KTM)
photo by: S. Leroux/KTM
However, although often a match for the then nine-times world champion in terms of speed, Tortelli again saw his title hopes destroyed by injury and riding over his skill level. The factory KTM rider sustaining a dislocated hip in the Grand Prix of Portugal after a torrid battle with Everts in the first moto (probably the most exciting race of the season).
Sébastien Tortelli was forced to miss the rest of the season as a result and, when KTM announced a 2007 line-up without the Frenchman, his racing future looked in serious doubt. Tortelli will always be remembered as a rider who gave his all, and was professional through and through. He will be missed both in Europe and America.
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