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Andrea Dovizioso will join Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team for the remainder of the 2021 season, as the Italian replaces Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP bound Franco Morbidelli. Yamaha have also confirmed Dovizioso will ride for their Independent Team in 2022.
Dovizioso made his MotoGP™ debut in 2008 having taken the 125cc World Championship title in 2004. In his first season in the premier class he finished as top Independent rider, and claimed his first victory one year later. Since his first premier class race, the Italian has racked up a total of 62 podiums, 15 wins and 7 pole positions. In addition to this, Dovi was also in the championship fight in 2017, 2018 and 2019 – ending all three years as runner-up.
Marking his much-anticipated return to the Championship, Dovizioso will join the Malaysian squad as Valentino Rossi’s teammate for the rest of the 2021 season, starting at the San Marino GP this weekend. During the 2022 season, Dovi will be riding a factory-spec YZR-M1 and receive full support from Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
Razlan Razali: “We are absolutely thrilled with the collective decision between Yamaha and Petronas Yamaha SRT to welcome Andrea Dovizioso from this race onwards until the end of the year. Clearly he is an extremely talented and highly-regarded rider, and we’re excited to see him back in the MotoGP paddock after his sabbatical and wearing our colours. We’re delighted with the line-up of Dovi alongside Valentino, and that we have two home-race heroes at Misano this weekend.
“Of course, this is possible because Franky is moving to the factory team alongside his old team-mate Fabio, and we are absolutely delighted and excited for him. He has performed remarkably for us, especially last year as vice-Champion, and this progression is exactly the objective for an independent team – to develop riders for the factory team and to help them perform to the best of their ability. For the first time the line-up of the Yamaha factory team consists of two riders who have graduated from our team, and we are exceptionally proud of that. For me this is a clear sign of the stronger, deeper collaboration between us and Yamaha. We are always ready to support the factory, and I think that with this solution and flexibility we all see a clear benefit, so we’re very pleased, and of course thank Franky sincerely for all his hard work and wish him all the very best.”
Andrea Dovizioso: “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!”
Lin Jarvis: “We are delighted that a MotoGP star and talent like Andrea is joining the Yamaha line-up. We warmly welcome him to the Yamaha MotoGP group as a very important member of our MotoGP programme. We have found ourselves in unprecedented circumstances this year that resulted in totally unexpected rider issues for both Yamaha teams. We experienced some unforeseen and unfortunate events, but we have been able to transform the problems into new opportunities.
“Andrea has been away from MotoGP for a short sabbatical, but we are certain that a rider of his calibre will soon find his speed again. We are really looking forward to working with him as a member of Yamaha‘s satellite team, and we will be supporting him in every way we can.”
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