Like his compatriot Valentino Rossi a year earlier, Andrea Dovizioso admits ending his career as a MotoGP rider because the results are no longer up to par.
Andrea Dovizioso will retire from motorcycle racing on September 4, 2022 at Misano, at the end of the San Marino Grand Prix. The announcement was made a month before the date at Silverstone, on the sidelines of the British Grand Prix. And when giving details, the triple vice-world champion MotoGP assumed not to be up to expectations, and the objectives initially set.
Andrea Dovizioso first explains why, in September 2021, he agreed to sign with Yamaha, after an eight-year Ducati adventure ended at the end of 2020, then a few kilometers of tests carried out on the Aprilia RS-GP in 2021. My experience in MotoGP with Yamaha in 2012 was very positive, and I had always thought that sooner or later I would have liked to have an official contract with Yamaha. This possibility presented itself, in a rather audacious way, in 2021. I decided to try because I firmly believed in this project and this opportunity to do well. »
Andrea Dovizioso had indeed had a great first experience on the Yamaha YZR-M1 in 2012. After four seasons on the Honda RC213V, including three with the Repsol team, he joined the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. Results of operations: six podiums, fourth place in the championship and the title of best satellite driver. He then switched to Ducati in 2013, and remained there until 2020. But ten years later, he is far from obtaining the same results as at the time.
“Unfortunately, in recent years, MotoGP has changed profoundly. The situation has been very different since: I have never felt comfortable with the bike, and I have not been able to fully exploit its potential, despite the valuable and continuous help of the team and of all of Yamaha », he assumes. Since September 2021, the Italian has contested 16 races and scored only 22 points, with the best result of 11th place at Portimao last April.
“The results were negative, but beyond that I still consider it a very important life experience.he continues. When there are so many difficulties, you have to have the ability to manage the situation and your emotions well. We did not achieve the desired objectives, but the consultations with the Yamaha technicians and with those of my team have always been positive and constructive, both for them and for me. The relationship remained loyal and professionally interesting even in the most critical moments; it wasn’t so obvious that it happened that way. »
“For all this and for their support, I thank Yamaha, my team and WithU, as well as the other sponsors involved in the project. It didn’t turn out the way we hoped, but it was good to try. My adventure will end in Misano, but the relationship with everyone involved in this challenge will remain intact forever. Thank you all. »
The end of an era
125cc world champion in 2004, Andrea Dovizioso did not win the title in the higher categories, but he was for many years one of the leaders of the peloton. He finished on the 250cc world podium three times, from 2005 to 2007, before doing so four times in MotoGP. He was notably triple vice-world champion behind Marc Marquez in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The current Yamaha rider has won 24 times in his career, including 15 times in MotoGP, making him the second biggest winner on the current grid after Marc Marquez (59 MotoGP victories). His 14 successes with Ducati make him the Italian manufacturer’s second most awarded rider after Casey Stoner, winner of 23 Grands Prix with the Reds.
But his departure also marks the end of an era, after the withdrawals of Dani Pedrosa (2018), Jorge Lorenzo (2019) and Valentino Rossi (2021). At 36, he was the veteran of the peloton, a costume that Aleix Espargaro will wear in 2023 at “only” 33 – he will turn 34 on July 30. This also means that no resident of the 2011 MotoGP world championship will be on the track in 2023. Even if it would be better to refer to 2008, because Aleix Espargaro rode in the premier category in 2009 and 2010.
This longevity is also reflected in Andrea Dovizioso’s stats. With 343 starts, and probably 346 at the time of his retirement, he is the second most experienced driver in Grand Prix history, behind his compatriot Valentino Rossi (432) and ahead of another Italian, Loris Capirossi (328).
In fact, Andrea Dovizioso’s first participation in a world championship race took place in Mugello, for the Italian Grand Prix, on June 3, 2001. He then made his debut in 125cc, and in 2022 was the last grid driver to have raced in the world at the same time as the 500cc category.
Alarming figures: Dovi in his worst season in MotoGP