Biker DeCouto quits pro career
Newly crowned Expert American Sportbike Racing Association (ASRA) Pro Superstock national champion Paul DeCouto will not defend his title next year.
The 43-year old Bermudian motorcycle racer has ruled out any chance of attempting a repeat victory and is no longer interested in pursuing a professional career in the sport.
“I have decided to scale back my racing activity to a hobby rather than pursuing it as a career,” DeCouto revealed.
“I will most likely do track days and the occasional club level race overseas.”
DeCouto says he takes great pride in his many outstanding achievements competing abroad on various circuits.
“I have accomplished what I set out to do and reached the highest level in club and semi-pro road racing in the western hemisphere,” he said. “I am the USA Expert ASRA Pro Superstock national champion.”
After achieving national champion status it would've seemed “natural progression” for DeCouto to join the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) professional ranks.
But to do so, he stressed, would present major challenges.
“To be successful in AMA pro racing I would need a major sponsorship and manufacturer support to stand the chance of being successful,” he explained. “And even with factory support most pro racers are coming out of their own pockets to fund their lifestyle. Racing at this level is very expensive.”
DeCouto said competing at the semi-pro and club levels next season on a regular basis would be a step in the wrong direction.
“To go back to do another season of club level or semi-pro level racing to win another national championship would be going backwards,” he added.
Scaling back his racing activity will minimise the risk of serious injury while enabling DeCouto to devote more time to a business (Cycle Care Ltd) he jointly owns.
“It is not just about time anymore,” he said. “I have a full staff of people I consider my extended family. They are depending on my vision and leadership and I also have a son who needs me.”
DeCouto is fresh off another stellar year of racing on US soil where he managed several podium displays competing on the Champions Cup Series (CCS) and ASRA circuits, clinching the Expert ASRA Pro Superstock championship with a race to spare.
“It feels great to be the champion,” he said. “It took a lot of hard work and dedication and was well worth the struggle.“
DeCouto's successful campaign on this year's ASRA circuit follows on the heels of the success he achieved on last year's CCS circuit where he was crowned southeast regional Expert Pirelli GTO and Expert Unlimited Grand Prix champion.