Dovizioso set to retire from MotoGP at end of 2022

Andrea Dovizioso. Picture:

Andrea Dovizioso is set to retire from MotoGP at the end of 2022 after confirming he will “not race” next year.

The 36-year-old joined the Yamaha ranks in mid-2021 after a ‘sabbatical’ from grand prix competition, but is currently 22nd in the championship standings with the RNF team.

Given his age and lack of competitiveness, the three-time premier class championship runner-up is set to walk away from MotoGP, but says he is “completely relaxed” about the prospect.

“For sure, I will not race,” Dovizioso told MotoGP’s official website.

“I always said if I would not be competitive, I don’t want to be here, because you really don’t enjoy staying there and struggling.

“So, there is no reason, especially after 20 years.

“I never tried to have a place for next year, because you have to be in the middle of the project and have a big push, because everybody is so competitive at the moment.

“I’m completely relaxed about it. I already did half a year out of racing last year, so I already tested [retirement], so I’m okay about that.”

As Dovizioso noted, he spent much of the 2021 season out of competition after leaving Ducati, a point which he made a joke of by wearing leathers with an ‘Unemployed’ message during his exit period from the Bologna marque.

It was with Ducati, however, that the Italian firmly established himself as a front-runner, finishing behind only Marc Marquez in the championship for three years in a row and scoring 14 of his 15 race wins in his last five years in red.

Even if Dovizioso had wanted to go on in 2023, he would have faced another challenge given RNF’s deal to become Aprilia’s satellite team next year.

While he tested with Aprilia for a brief period in 2021, staying with RNF would mean racing a Ducati Desmosedici GP20, an updated 2019 YZR-M1 plus the current version, and whatever spec of RS-GP the Noale marque turns out for next year, in the space of just four seasons.

Furthermore, Dovizioso’s current deal is with Yamaha itself, rather than the Razlan Razali-owned team which he rides for at present.

RNF is set to be all-change in 2023, with KTM incumbents Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez thought most likely to land there.

That would mean rookie Darryn Binder, who made the leap directly from Moto3, would also be out of a seat.

The 2022 MotoGP season resumes after the summer break at Britain’s Silverstone on August 5-7.

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