Andrea Dovizioso’s career in MotoGP will end after the San Marino Grand Prix: by agreement with Yamaha Racing the veteran of the championship will leave the paddock, and his place will be taken by the official NAC test pilot Cal Crutchlow.
Yamaha has released an official announcement that Andrea Dovizioso has decided to retire (this time, definitively), without waiting for the end of the 2022 season – in September, immediately after the Gran Premio di San Marino e Della Riviera di Rimini.
Yamaha’s collaboration with the Italian racer began in 2012 when Andrea joined the Tech3 Yamaha satellite and took 6 podiums in his debut season. But then there were two interesting periods in Dovizioso’s career when he accepted the invitation of Repsol Honda, and then, for a long 8 years – in the Ducati factory garage. The reunion with Yamaha took place in mid-2021, but, unfortunately, did not bring the expected results to both sides.
At the end of 2020, Andrea Dovizioso decided to take a “sabbatical” in search of a suitable job in MotoGP. He refused Ducati’s “unacceptable” offer and was not included in the lists of participants in the 2021 championship. He was engaged in personal projects in motocross and rally but still hoped to return to MotoGP.
In April, he was offered non-commercial cooperation with Aprilia Racing: Dovizioso and took part in the tests of the prototype RS-GP model 2021, without having any obligations to Noale. But his feedback turned out to be very important for the prototype developer Romano Albesiano. Dovizioso was scheduled to join the Aprilia factory team in 2022, but the deal fell through after Maverick Vinales was released from his contract with Yamaha in the middle of the championship. Aprilia immediately signed Vinales!
But Dovizioso immediately found himself in the networks of Yamaha Racing. In order to attract Andrea to his team, Yamaha made a big rotation in its ranks: Franco Morbidelli from RNF (SRT) was transferred to the factory team in a pair with Fabio Quartararo, and Andrea Dovizioso was given a motorcycle and the Morbidelli team. Andrea started working with Yamaha in September 2022. He was given 3 months to study the motorcycle.
However, neither 3 nor even 6 months of hard work with the new Yamaha YZR-M1 helped Dovizioso to go the way he rode from 2017 to 2019 on Ducati Desmosedici… Andrey was disappointed and suggested Lin Jarvis break up.
Since RNF also terminates the contract with Yamaha at the end of the season and moves to the status of Sattelite Aprilia, Yamaha Racing will not look for a permanent replacement for Dovizioso in Sattelite.
Dovizioso’s place will be taken by Yamaha test driver Cal Crutchlow until the end of the season. Yamaha uses the second half of the season to improve the YZR-M1, as well as commission a new, evolutionary model in 2023.