Andrea Dovizioso returns! | Rest of 2021, plus full 2022 MotoGP with Yamaha

Andrea Dovizioso to see out the 2021 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT Yamaha ahead of a full season comeback in 2022; Franco Morbidelli to Yamaha Factory

Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati 1200

Andrea Dovizioso will return to the MotoGP grid as soon as the next rounds of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship at Misano to see out the season with Petronas SRT Yamaha, according to Lin Jarvis.

The deal, which has come together quickly in recent days after Dovizioso went from outside tip to odds-on, the six-race deal will be followed by a full 2022 MotoGP campaign with what will be a rebranded satellite Yamaha effort.

Dovizioso will replace Franco Morbidelli in the Petronas SRT Yamaha set-up as the Italian will be promoted to the Factory Racing set-up alongside Fabio Quartararo to replace Maverick Vinales. With Morbidelli out injured at the moment, it means he has started his final races for Petronas SRT Yamaha and will instead return a Yamaha factory rider.

“The plan is to have Morbidelli with the factory team and Dovizioso with the satellite team from Misano and then also in 2022," told the MotoGP website.

A 14-time MotoGP race winner, Dovizioso hasn’t turned a racing wheel since the end of the 2020 MotoGP season when he severed ties with Ducati having rejected its contract and subsequently entered into a sabbatical. 

Though linked to Aprilia for much of the year, the unexpected availability of Vinales meant Dovizioso’s hopes of making it back onto the grid in 2022 appeared to have been dashed.

However, Vinales’ abrupt departure, coupled with Morbidelli’s fitness issues, were becoming a headache for Yamaha as it reshuffled its line-up in the knowledge it would have to do so again at the end of the season when Valentino Rossi retires.

Ironically, it was Dovi’s insistence on only stepping in for 2021 on the premise he would also have a full season contract in his pocket for 2022 that looked like being a hurdle in negotiations. However, with Yamaha’s options dwindling despite its bike leading the standings, Dovizioso’s packaged offer would work for both parties.

This will be Dovizioso's second stint at Yamaha after competing with the Tech 3 Racing squad - the predecessor of Petronas SRT - back in 2012.

The second seat in what is expected to be known as the WithU Yamaha team is set to go to Darryn Binder, who will join his brother Brad in MotoGP, albeit from a huge direct leap from Moto3.