Early retirement from MotoGP for Dovizioso

Andrea Dovizioso. Photo: MotoGP.com

Yamaha have announced Andrea Dovizioso’s retirement from MotoGP, effective after the San Marino Grand Prix next month.

The 36-year-old Italian had already confirmed he “won’t be racing” in 2023 but, ultimately, he will only race in three of the remaining nine rounds this season.

This means he will bow out at his home in Misano, after which Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow will take over the factory-spec YZR-M1 which is fielded by RNF for the remainder of the 2022 campaign.

Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis said: “I want to start by saying that, of course, we are all sad that Andrea is leaving the sport earlier than expected.

“He is a big name in MotoGP, and he will be missed in the paddock.

“We considered ourselves very lucky last year that he was available and willing to join our MotoGP program when Franky [Franco Morbidelli] moved to the Yamaha Factory Team, creating the need for a replacement rider for the remainder of the 2021 season.

“Andrea’s great expertise, experience and methodical nature were of great interest to Yamaha and the RNF team and the project has been set to include the entire 2022 season.

“Unfortunately, Andrea struggled to extract the maximum potential from the M1 and as a result the results were not there, which created understandable frustration for Andrea.

“Finally, during the summer break, he confirmed to us his desire to retire before the end of the season.

“After mutual discussions, it was deemed appropriate for Andrea to race in his last race at Misano during his home GP.

“Naturally Yamaha will continue to give ‘Dovi’ their full support for the next three races.

“In the meantime, let’s enjoy his last three GPs and celebrate at Misano the end of a spectacular career.”

As noted by Jarvis, Dovizioso joined the Iwata brand midway through last season, after Maverick Viñales was sacked following his Red Bull Ring engine incident and Franco Morbidelli left the satellite team as a result.

Prior to that, the Italian had been on a ‘sabbatical’ after an eight-year stint at Ducati, during which he finished runners-up to Marc Marquez in the championship on three occasions and claimed 14 of his 15 premier class race victories. .

He is retiring as lightweight class champion, in the 125cc era in 2004, but is currently 22nd in the MotoGP championship.

“I thank Lin for his words, I totally agree with them,” said Dovizioso, who also rode a Yamaha ten years ago for Tech3.

“In 2012, the experience with the manufacturer Iwata in MotoGP was very positive for me and since then I always thought that, sooner or later, I would have liked to have an official contract with Yamaha.

“This possibility presented itself, in fact in a somewhat audacious way, during 2021. I decided to give it a shot because I firmly believed in this project and in the possibility of doing well.

“Unfortunately, in recent years, MotoGP has changed profoundly. The situation has been very different since then: I never felt comfortable with the bike, and I could not exploit its potential to the full despite the help valuable and ongoing support from the team and all of Yamaha.

“The results were negative, but beyond that I still consider it a very important life experience. 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 was not so obvious that this would happen.

“For all this and for their support, I thank Yamaha, the RNF Racing Team, WithU and the other sponsors involved in the project.

“It didn’t go as we hoped, but it was just trying.

“My adventure will end at Misano, but the relationship with everyone involved in this challenge will remain intact forever. Thank you all.”

The British Grand Prix takes place this weekend.

About Joseph Minton

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