Cal Crutchlow will take Andrea Dovizioso’s position after the San Marino Grand Prix next month as a result of Dovizioso’s unexpected decision to leave the MotoGP.
Following the San Marino Grand Prix in Misano this year, Andrea Dovizioso will formally leave MotoGP as Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow will take his place.
The three-time MotoGP runner-up for Ducati, Dovizioso’s comeback to Grand Prix racing with Yamaha has tragically been nothing short of a disaster.
Dovizioso, who was frequently Marc Marquez’s main rival during the Honda rider’s era of dominance in the competition, will depart MotoGP as one of the more distinguished athletes in recent years.
Dovizioso left Ducati at the conclusion of 2020 following an eight-year career during which he was second in the riders’ championship three times in a row. He then joined the RNF satellite team in the middle of the 2021 season.
The 36-year-old has had trouble with the Yamaha, with his best result coming at the Portuguese Grand Prix earlier this year in 11th place. He has openly acknowledged that he is not as skilled at riding the Yamaha M1 as championship leader Fabio Quartararo and has made it clear that the 2022 season will be his last in the MotoGP.
Dovizioso, however, made a shocking announcement on the eve of the British Grand Prix: he will retire after the San Marino Grand Prix in Misano next month.
“I have always thought that, sooner or later, I would have liked to have an official contract with Yamaha,” Dovizioso explained. “This possibility presented itself, actually in a somewhat daring way, during 2021. I decided to give it a try because I strongly believed in this project and in the possibility of doing well.”
“Unfortunately, in recent years the MotoGP has changed profoundly. The situation is very different since then.”
“I have never felt comfortable with the bike, and I have not been able to make the most of its potential despite the precious and continuous help from the team and the whole 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 need to have the ability to manage the situation and your emotions well.”
“We did not reach 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 that would happen.”
The head of Yamaha Lin Jarvis repeated Razali’s appreciation and stated that Dovizioso’s final three MotoGP races will now receive all of the attention.
“I want to start by saying that, of course, we are all sad that Andrea will be leaving the sport earlier than expected,” said Lin Jarvis, Team Principal at Monster Energy Yamaha.
“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 programme when Franky switched to the Yamaha Factory Team thus 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 was fixed to include the full 2022 season.”
“Unfortunately, Andrea has struggled to extract the maximum potential out of the M1 and thus the results have not been forthcoming, which has 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 ride his final race in Misano at his home GP. Naturally, Yamaha will continue to give ’Dovi‘ their full support over the next three races. In the meantime, let‘s enjoy his last three GPs and celebrate in Misano the end of a spectacular career.”
While Darryn Binder’s future at RNF Yamaha, which will become Aprilia next season, is still up in the air, the team should get closer to signing Miguel Oliveira, who is anticipated to replace the departing Italian in the rider lineup for 2023, if Dovizioso’s retirement is confirmed.