Dovizioso ‘not able to be competitive,’ won’t race in 2023

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Andrea Dovizioso has admitted he won’t be racing in MotoGP next season after an uncompetitive year on the WithU Yamaha RNF.

The experienced Italian - who claimed second in the World Championship three times during his 15-year premier class career, placed in the top five on ten occasions and has 15 victories to his name - has been running firmly at the back since he joined the satellite Yamaha outfit half-way through 2021.

Reflecting on the difficult journey since leaving Ducati, Dovizioso confirmed he had not even tried to secure a place on the 2023 grid and was resolved to return to the retirement he initially started 18 months ago.

“Every race has been a difficult race because every time we start on the back and everything becomes even more difficult,” the 36-year-old confirmed of his past 12 months. “On the practice already, we struggle a bit to be in the middle of the group and when you start on the back in the race, everything is worse. To don’t be competitive is a completely different story in my career. So that is the difficult thing. First time for me, it’s difficult to manage and especially as practice by practice, race by race becomes more the reality.

“I’m not able to be competitive,” he acknowledged of his current predicament. “Fortunately I race in 2012 because if I didn’t race in 2012 with Yamaha, everybody can say ‘Ah, with Yamaha, you can’t be competitive’ but it’s not the truth. Is just for a different reason because the MotoGP change, the bike change, the competitors change. The way you have to ride the bike is different. I mean, there is a lot of big and small reasons and if you put everything together it happened what I’m living now.

“I always say if I will be not competitive, I don’t want to be here because you really don’t enjoy, stay there and struggling. So there is no reason, especially after 20 years.

“So I never tried to have a place for next year because I think you have to be in the middle of the project and have a big push because everybody is so competitive in this moment. I would say I’m completely relaxed about that - I already did half of last year out of racing so I already tested so I’m okay about that. For sure I didn’t want to finish the season like this because it’s so nice to be competitive. When you feel you make a really good lap time, you fight for a good position, as always I did but you know, nobody have everything under control and this can happen.”

While Monster Energy Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo continues to defend his current MotoGP Champion status from the head of the standings, it has been a dramatically different story for the other three M1’s on the grid in recent years.

“Testing Yamaha in this moment is quite unusual for many reasons,” Dovizioso explained. “You have a really good feeling, you can turn the bike and brake very well but there is some other parts that are not that good.

“If you don’t ride like Fabio, is very difficult to be competitive.

“If Fabio is winning, there is a reason, so this means there is a possibility to be fast but if the other riders are complaining, like in the last some years, with all the teammates, means there isn’t more ways to be competitive, like in the past. For example, the way we ride is completely opposite - Franky [Morbidelli] is using more angle, every time for longer time, is not braking hard and is completely opposite of me. But the result is very similar. When there is just one bike this means there is maybe only one way to be competitive, that’s the reason why.

“If you look now all the Japanese are struggling. For sure Yamaha won last year. If you look who won the title, again is normally Japanese, but we are speaking just about one and is always related about the match between the rider and the bike. But if you look the second riders are very far, that means in my opinion, the base of the bike is a bit difficult and a bit particular. It was Honda in the last eight years and I think is Yamaha now. Like I think, also maybe can be Aprilia.

“MotoGP changed a lot, a lot,” the 125cc World Champion continued. “In the past, 10 years ago, normally always the same riders sat on top. Doesn’t matter the bike, more or less they were able to stay there. Now it’s different because the mechanical parts are a bit more important that the past. Everybody are in a good level. Much more things can affect a lot.”

Picture: GeeBee Images
Picture: GeeBee Images