Nigon hangs up the racing leathers just weeks after dramatic EWC Bol d’Or victory
Erwan Nigon, part of the Viltaïs Racing Igol team that won last month’s 100th-anniversary Bol d’Or, has announced his retirement.
The 39-year-old, whose standout career also included winning the 2018-19 FIM Endurance World Championship for SRC Kawasaki France, still plans to be involved in the sport following a hugely successful 25-year stint behind the handlebars.
“The emotion is intense, talking about [retirement] gives me shivers,” Frenchman Nigon said. “Motorcycling has rocked my whole life, so turning the page on my sporting career is not trivial. However, I think it’s the right time. My ultimate goal was to win the Bol d’Or and it’s now done. The years pass and with them come the periods of questioning. I am now 39 years old. Finishing my racing career with a victory is what I dreamed of.”
He continued: “After 25 seasons, I can say that I am a fulfilled rider. A few highlights come to my mind. I think of my experience in MotoGP in 2008 as a Michelin test rider on Dani Pedrosa’s Honda. The titles in FSBK and IDM with BMW also marked me a lot. And I can’t forget the world title in FIM EWC with SRC Kawasaki in 2018-19 I’m happy with what I achieved. Thanks to all the people who helped me to accomplish such things. I hope they know how invaluable their support has been. Now it’s time to embark on new projects, always in the world of motorcycles of course. Stopping competition is not the end of passion.”
Nigon was four when he rode a motorbike for the first time, competing in motocross for 10 years before he switched to circuit racing as a 14-year-old. He took part in the French Aprilia Cup ahead of stepping up to the French Superbike championship. After taking the 125 Open title in 2001, Nigon graduated to 250cc machinery and spent four seasons in Grand Prix racing from 2002 to 2005 after a stint in France.
He made his Bol d’Or debut in 2006 and enjoyed long and successful spells in EWC, the German IDM series and the French Superbike championship. He was French Superbike champion in 2010 and German IDM champion two years later.
Victory in the 24 Heures Motos followed in 2014 and he finished the 2018-19 season as EWC champion.
Nigon is pictured second from right shortly after winning the Bol d’Or at Circuit Paul Ricard last month.