I can fully understand why riders stop competing at the very top level as at some point cost/ personal commitment outweighs results/ enjoyment.
The sad thing I see in recent times is that some walk away from the sport altogether. ( this Is not aimed at the 2 recent retirees but an observation over a the last few years)
Not sure if they just get stale., only want to do it if they are winning or never really enjoyed it but found they where good at it and was a good parent //child thing when on the up?
Having ridden for 40 plus years I could not imagine not having a bike and competing - I’ve had quiet years but never lost the bug and always has a bike in the garage to ride.
I appreciate that if not winning they are not enjoying or fear of not being the best.
In a much smaller scale I found it difficult as I got older to start getting beaten by younger riders or newcomers but learnt to accept it as enjoyment of riding was greater than that of being top of the results.
My first bike was a TL 125 that was a bit of a shed that I went halves with big bro and paid for with paper-rounds and birthday / Christmas money . We spent time tweaking and getting back to a rideable Mount.
just wondering in the modern world that this man(boy) and Machine bond is never made - or maybe I’m a bit sad and need a therapist ??