Andrea Dovizioso will not complete the 2022 MotoGP season. Today, Yamaha announced that the Italian had decided to end his career at Misano, his home race (Dovizioso is from Forlì, some 70 kilometers away).
Yamaha official test rider Cal Crutchlow will take Dovizioso’s place in the RNF WithU Yamaha team for the remainder of the 2022 season.
The decision did not come as a surprise. Dovizioso had joined Yamaha after a sabbatical year forced on him when he was dropped from the Ducati team at the end of the 2020 season along with Danilo Petrucci, to make way for Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller.
However, despite Dovizioso having spent a season on a satellite Tech3 Yamaha back in 2012, the Italian never really gelled with the M1, and struggled to make the bike work for him.
Rumors emerged in June that Dovizioso was considering ending his career after the summer break, something which he halfheartedly denied when asked in Barcelona. Will you be in Silverstone? he was asked. “I think so,” he replied.
But his problems with the Yamaha meant he was not enjoying racing at all. “You can’t enjoy when you are on the back,” Dovizioso said after Barcelona. He had just been hanging on and doing what he could to finish, rather than trying to figure out a way to be competitive.
“During this year, every race was a nightmare for me. I was surviving. It’s not about making a strategy and deciding something, because I don’t have the speed in my control. And when you are behind now MotoGP has become bad about that, because it affects a lot the way to ride, the performance of the tires, especially the front. So it’s difficult behind.”
Thus ends a long and illustrious career for Andrea Dovizioso. Though he only won a single world championship – the 125cc title in 2004 – he was always a contender.
He finished second in the 250cc championship in 2006 and 2007, and was runner up to Marc Marquez for three years in a row from 2017 to 2019. He won 15 MotoGP races and amassed 62 MotoGP podiums, and a total of 103 podiums across all three classes.
Above all, Dovizioso was appreciated for his analytical insight. No one was both able and willing to explain the nuances and finesses of riding and racing a MotoGP bike like Andrea Dovizioso once Casey Stoner retired. He had a deep understanding of what a motorcycle could and should do, and could explain it in clear and simple terms to journalists with a necessarily limited understanding of racing.
What Dovizioso does next is not yet known, but it seems almost certain it will be in motocross, rather than MotoGP. Motocross was always Dovizioso’s greatest passion, and he trained and raced MX whenever the opportunity presented itself.
This was never more obvious than when Adam Wheeler, owner of digital magazine On Track Off Road and MXGP guru turned up at MotoGP races.
Dovizioso usually avoided trying to chat informally with journalists once his official media duties were done, but when Adam turned up, Dovizioso would make a beeline for him and grill him on the latest developments in the MXGP paddock.
Source: Yamaha Racing