Andrea Dovizioso returns to MotoGP for 2021, 2022 with Yamaha

Andrea Dovizioso is officially back in MotoGP as he joins Petronas SRT Yamaha for the remainder of 2021 before a full season in the satellite squad for 2022

Andrea Dovizioso

Andrea Dovizioso will return to the MotoGP grid for the first time in 10 months after agreeing terms with Yamaha to see out the 2021 season with Petronas SRT before taking up a seat with the to-be-rebranded team in 2022.

The Italian - a 14-time race winner and runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019 - has been on the sidelines since the end of the 2020 MotoGP season after bringing a fractious relationship with Ducati to an end after seven years.

Though originally linked with Aprilia and conducting a series of tests with the Italian team, Dovizioso was hesitant to pen a race deal despite its publicly declared eagerness in doing so. However, after Maverick Vinales became available in the wake of his split from Yamaha, Aprilia chose the Spaniard over Dovizioso. 

Nevertheless, the experienced Italian will instead benefit from the situation to see out the season with Petronas SRT Yamaha by replacing Franco Morbidelli, who in turn assumes Vinales’ vacant seat in the factory team.

It marks a return to Yamaha machinery for Dovizioso after spending a season with Tech 3 Racing in 2012.

“Although I didn’t expect to be back in MotoGP like this, I never closed the door on it and it’s good to be here with Yamaha and Petronas Yamaha SRT. I wanted to try to enjoy a new situation and I’m really happy to be back. It will be interesting to be on a completely different bike to that I rode before and I’m looking forward to the experience. 

“I visited the team in Aragon and it felt almost like it was 2012 again and sitting on the Yamaha bike felt just as good. It was great to have a first sit on the bike and do the initial adjustments, so that we’re already one step ahead of FP1 here at Misano. 

“I will need to get on track to understand the details and it would have been better to have had a test before jumping into a race, but I start with no pressure and it will be great to get going in Misano for the final five races of the season.

“Racing with Yamaha has always been my dream, and that's why when the opportunity arrived I did not think twice, although I know it's going to be a tough challenge for me. I've got many things ahead of me to learn: a new bike, a new team, a new working system. It‘s a big challenge that starts at Misano, my home GP. This makes it even more exciting. I can't wait to be aboard my M1!”

Can Andrea Dovizioso rebuild his MotoGP career at Yamaha?

It wasn’t easy to tell whether Dovizioso was ever keen on returning to MotoGP with Aprilia, having declared previously he only wanted a competitive package… his hesitance suggested the RS-GP was thus not to his liking.

By contrast, the Yamaha is a proven package even if Dovi will need to persevere with a 2019-spec bike for now, meaning it could be a sobering return for a man who is used to having the quickest bike in a straight line.

For Yamaha, Dovi is something of a coup. His knowledge from Ducati could prove invaluable in its fight against the Italian team for the 2021 MotoGP world title, while he is a trusty hand in its quest for the manufacturers’ title too.

Though he isn’t ‘quite’ what Razlan Razali was targeting in his efforts to develop young talent, if rumours are indeed correct then he should have his hands full of untamed talent in Darryn Binder, who is tipped to make the unprecedented move from Moto3.

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