It was a shock announcement that came at midday on Thursday at the Monster Energy British Grand Prix. Andrea Dovizioso (WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP™ Team) will retire from the sport after the San Marino GP, not at the end of the season as previously anticipated.
The 2004 125cc World Champion and three-time MotoGP™ runner-up went into greater detail about why he’s decided to step away before the end of the season. It’s been a very difficult year for Dovizioso on board the factory-spec YZR-M1 in 2022, with the Italian scoring just 10 points in the opening 11 races ahead of the British Grand Prix.
With the full support of Yamaha, his home GP at Misano will be his last in the premier class and Dovizioso explained that the San Marino GP felt like the right place to race in MotoGP™ for the final time – in front of his family, friends and the adoring Italian crowd.
“First of all I would like to thank Yamaha and the team because they give me a big support and understood me, so that’s very important for me and I was relaxed to speak with them about my situation and I’m happy to have a good relationship with them and be able to take this tough decision because at the end after 20 years it’s always tough to take this kind of decision,” began Dovizioso, who spoke to the media on Thursday evening.
“But it’s ok, I’m relaxed, it’s the moment to take this decision. As a rider during the practice and the race and you’re not able to be where you want, you think about things and realise it’s the moment, that’s why I took the decision.
“It's not so nice when you think too much about these things, not just being focused on the races. When you don’t feel that competitive you start think too much about that, so I had that feeling to take this decision and with that feeling I started to think about Misano. I think it’s the right race, the final race, my last home race to finish with a party and big smile from everybody, my friends and all the fans.”
Dovizioso continued, explaining he still wants to race motocross and enjoy competing while he’s still young enough and fit enough to do so. In addition, without wanting to go into too much detail, the 36-year-old revealed he’s working on a dream project at home that’s he’s really focused on.
“In this moment I don’t have anything big on the table because I didn’t check, I didn’t try to find anything. It’s because I think it’s normal after 20 years in one place, it’s normal that you need a bit of time to do some other things and live in a different way.
“I have, for sure everything is around sport and I’m not that young anymore, but I feel young enough to live and use my body at this moment, still race, for example motocross and enjoy the last years in good shape and enjoy that situation. I have in my mind, a long time, more than 10 years a dream to create something at home. It’s not done still but I’m close and I’m very happy,
“I’m not done and I don’t want to speak about that because it’s a bit too early, but I’m really focused on one project and I think that will be really nice if I can be able to work on that. And race motocross and enjoy, I will keep, for sure, the door open about everything because I have a lot of experience in this world, I already had some requests in the past to do something here but in this moment I think I need a bit of time doing what I want at home and then let’s see.”
Dovizioso will now be hoping he can end his MotoGP™ career on a high starting at Silverstone, before heading to the Red Bull Ring and then, finally, Misano at the start of September. He’ll be hoping to enjoy his last three races, and it’s time for us to enjoy seeing one of the modern-era greats on track for the final few times too.