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San Marino – Andrea Dovizioso leaves MotoGP after the San Marino GP

If the withdrawal of “Dovi” is certainly not a surprise in view of his lack of competitiveness on the M1, his choice to throw in the towel during the game is more surprising: why not end the season – and his contract – at instead of stopping in a month after the Grand Prix of San Marino (Italy), the 14th of the 20 races on the calendar?

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When you’re a pilot and you’re not able to figure where you want to be, your mind starts thinking about things and you realize it’s time: that’s why I made that decision.”justified Andrea Dovizioso in the preamble of G.

“It’s not very pleasant when you think about these things too much because you’re not focused on the races. (…) I felt that this decision had to be made and, feeling that, I I started to think that Misano would be the right occasion: my last home race, the opportunity to finish with a party with big smiles for everyone, with my friends and all the fans”.

His Yamaha RNF will then be entrusted to Yamaha’s test rider: the British Cal Crutchlow, who will compete in the last third of the season alongside debutant Darryn Binder in the Malaysian structure.

Sports retirement for “Dovi”

Andrea Dovizioso does not specify it, but his departure this time sounds the hour of his retirement from the motorcycle Grands Prix: the experienced transalpine will not have another opportunity to return to a competitive motorcycle at 36, especially after anticipating his end of the season on a factory-spec Yamaha, the same one with which Fabio Quartararo dominates the world championship…

Remember that “Dovi” had already failed, failing to obtain a sufficiently attractive proposal at the time after his – stormy – divorce with Ducati. Willy-nilly, the number 4 had turned to his other passion to occupy his sabbatical year: motocross, with some participation in regional races.

  • MNC of November 13, 2020:

After rejecting Aprilia’s proposal following RS-GP test sessions, Dovizioso unexpectedly returned to business: the Italian was offered the handlebars of Franco Morbidelli’s M1, promoted in the official Yamaha team during the 2021 season to compensate for the departure of Maverick Viñales.

“Dovi” hoped to reconnect on the Yamaha with his level of competitiveness which had enabled him to fight for the title against Marquez from 2017 to 2019: the Italian even hoped, secretly, to be able to take the extra step to access the crown on this bike which he had already ridden at Tech3 in 2012.

Fabio’s Yamaha, Marquez’s Honda

Alas, his ambitions were quickly cut short: Dovizioso never found his rhythm on the M1, judging it too “sharp” to drive. “Only Fabio can make the most of it, with plenty of speed on the corner“, he believes. According to the Italian, Yamaha would have made the same mistake as Honda: a motorcycle developed for and by a single rider, Quartararo for the M1 and Marquez for the RC213V.

Andrea Dovizioso, author of a modest 11th place as best result, occupies the 22nd position provisionally with only ten points scored in eleven races contested including two blank results. The Italian is the last experienced rider in the standings: only rookies Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez are behind, respectively in 23rd and 24th positions on a KTM that has fallen sharply this season.

Honestly, “Dovi” does not hide the fact that this situation at the back of the grid totally demotivated him: “Since I am a rational and critical person, I must always have a strong motivation to do something“, he explains. “And unfortunately, since I can’t adapt well enough to the bike to get certain results, I didn’t manage to improve that aspect this year.“.

The oldest rider on the grid – titled in 125 cc in 2004 then twice vice-champion in 250 cc – is keen to emphasize his excellent relationship with Yamaha (see statements below), although he regrets not having could “work on some structural aspects of the bike: let’s say there was no possibility to do these things during the season”.

Andrea Dovizioso made his debut in MotoGP in 2008 and has accumulated 245 starts in the premier class to date. During this period, he rode a Honda at LCR and then at HRC, before briefly bouncing back at Tech3 on the Yamaha. “Dovi” then moved to Ducati from 2013 to 2020, with three consecutive “titles” of vice-champion from 2017 to 2019.

Official statements

Andrea Dovizioso

“The experience with Yamaha was very positive in 2012 and since then I have always thought that one day or another, I would like to have an official contract with them. presented in 2021, admittedly in a somewhat daring way, but I jumped at the chance, because I firmly believed in this project and in the possibility of doing well.Unfortunately, in recent years, MotoGP has changed profoundly. is quite different: I never felt comfortable on this bike and I never managed to draw its full potential from it, despite the inexhaustible help from the team, like from Yamaha. negative summers. Despite everything, I still consider it an important life experience. When you face so many difficulties, you must be able to manage your emotions as well as possible. We did not achieve the desired goals, it does not prevents that we have always maintained a positive and constructive relationship, whether with the technicians from Yamaha or with people from my team. We remained loyal and professional, even in the most critical moments. I thank Yamaha, my structure, WithU and all the other sponsors involved in this project. The results were not up to our expectations, but we had to try. My adventure will therefore stop at Misano. That said, nothing to taint our relationship. Thank you all”.

Lin Jarvis, Yamaha Motor Racing Director of Racing:

“Above all, we are all sad that Andrea is leaving our Championship prematurely. He is a great name in MotoGP and he will be missed in the paddock. We considered ourselves very lucky last year when he went available with the departure of Franco to the official team. Andrea has great expertise, experience. Qualities with his very methodical nature which made him a real asset, for Yamaha as for the RNF team. And the project spanned the entire 2022 season… Unfortunately, he struggled to extract the full potential of our M1. The results were therefore not there, which created some frustration in him. In the end, he confirmed to us during the summer break, his desire to retire before the end of the season. Over the course of the discussions, it seemed logical that his last race would be at his home in Misano. Naturally, Yamaha will continue to provide him with everything his support over the next three races. let’s do these Grands Prix to come, before celebrating the end of his splendid career in Italy”.

Razlan Razali, founder and director of the Yamaha RNF team:

“Returning from the summer break, we were looking forward to working with Andrea, especially given the positive findings from recent races. However, he has decided to retire: a choice we respect. to see a rider of Andrea’s caliber leave this Championship and not finish the season with us, but we understand that he struggled to feel comfortable and that his riding style does not suit not at this M1. Although we did not obtain the expected results, we are honored to have such a name in our team. A big thank you to Andrea for his support, his expertise and his contribution. We will continue what whatever it takes to support him in the three remaining races”.

Wilco Zeelenberg, Yamaha RNF team manager:

“Of course, this announcement of early departure is not really what we would have liked. But it is also completely understandable that he expected much more from his return to MotoGP™. We tried to accompany him as possible. That being the case, he decided to hang up after Misano and we have to accept it, because it’s something he feels deep inside. We can say what we want… that we can only appreciate his frankness in such a situation. We will continue to give our all to offer the team the best results.”

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