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Dovizioso to Ducati

Replacing one Italian rider with another, Ducati has announced it has signed Andrea Dovizioso to a two-year contract beginning next season. Dovizioso has been the most successful non-factory rider this year with several podiums, and he currently sits in fourth position in the MotoGP championship.  He is a former 125GP World champion, and won a MotoGP race with Honda a few years ago.  Here is the official announcement from Ducati.

Borgo Panigale (Bologna) 22 August 2012 – Ducati and Andrea Dovizioso have reached an agreement that will see the Italian wearing the colours of the Ducati Team in 2013 and 2014.

Andrea Dovizioso, who currently sits in fourth place overall in the MotoGP championship standings, will join Nicky Hayden on the team. The pair will face next season together, working on development of the Desmosedici and the MotoGP project for the championship in which Ducati has played an important role since 2003.

“The agreement reached with Andrea Dovizioso confirms the company’s primary interest in racing, which is an active and strategic part of Ducati’s DNA and heritage,” said President Gabriele Del Torchio. “It is with great pleasure that I welcome Andrea, as we marshal our best efforts in confronting the MotoGP World Championship. Along with Nicky Hayden, with whom we have renewed a working agreement, we are confident that we will be able to proceed with our development program, to compete, and to obtain the results and rewards that will repay our efforts and the faith that our partners, sponsors and fans have never failed to demonstrate.”

“Andrea’s technical sensibility and test-riding abilities are of great value, as are his talent and determination,” added Filippo Preziosi, General Manager of Ducati Corse. “The knowledge that we will have him on our team and be able to count on his collaboration serves as an additional incentive to continue with the growth and development of our MotoGP project. I’m pleased that he has chosen to be a part of our team. He is aware of the work to be done, and he approaches it with enthusiasm and confidence, which are fundamental requirements for achieving success and for competing in this challenging championship.”

Andrea Dovizioso
Race number: 4
Age: 26 (born in Forlimpopoli, Italy, on 23 March 1986)
GPs raced: 179 (81 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: Italian GP, 2001 (125cc)
GP race wins: 10 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
GP podium: 62 (21xMotoGP, 26x250cc, 15x125cc)
First GP win: South African GP, 2004 (125cc)
GP Pole Positions: 14 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First GP Pole: French GP, 2003 (125cc)
GP World Titles: 1 (2004, 125cc)

Andrea rode a bike for the first time at 4 years old, and at 7 he competed in his first minibike race. In 2000 he won the Aprilia Challenge trophy, and in 2001 he finished fourth in the Italian Championship and won the 125cc class in the European Championship. In 2002 he competed in his first season in the world championship, in the 125cc class, and in 2004 he conquered his first title in that category, with five victories and eleven podiums. During the three seasons in which he raced in the 250cc division, he achieved four wins, finishing second two times in the general standings and third once. In 2008 he moved up to MotoGP, where he has achieved one victory so far (England, 2009) and twenty-one podiums. He currently sits fourth in the MotoGP standings.

11 Comments

  1. vato_loco says:

    Dovi has been consistent all season. Although there are risks for anyone signing with Ducati, of all the riders on the 2012 MotoGP grid Dovi has the best chance of success.

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  2. Ricardo says:

    Dovi is a great and charismatic rider, he gives it 100% on the track. Ducati, please give him a better bike than what Rossi and Nicky have and he will deliver…

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  3. Patrick D says:

    I really hope that Dovi does well, but the omens are not good. Marco Melandri’s stock was even higher than Dovi’s at the time he joined the team, and it was the death knell for his MotoGP career.
    I think it’s a gamble worth taking and with Rossi & Stoner in the factory team, one would imagine that the support the Tech3 guys will get will be reduced.
    As someone else has alluded, the promotion of Bradley Smith to the MotoGP team seems incresingly bizarre and unwarranted. The Tech3 team has been scoring well this year with a strong rider line up. Smith hasn’t featured in the Moto2 championship at any stage.
    Cal Crutchlow needs to score a podium or two to secure his place there. Maybe he’ll get some favouritism in the team now that Dovi has declared his departure?

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  4. Hawk says:

    It seems there is a strong belief that Ducati will be stronger now that the have been bought by Audi. I have heard that Dovi has gotten assured that Audi will spend a lot of money and help with development of the bike. I think Dovi is making the misstake beliving he is better then the others that have tried the Ducati.

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  5. mickey says:

    Smooth move Dovi..going from Honda sattelite where you did well, to Yamaha sattelite where you did well, to Ducati where you will be trying your best to stay ahead of the CRT’s. Why would anyone make that choice? He’s seen how well Hayden and Rossi (two formewr world champs) has done for the past 2 years on the Duc and how Stoner did his last few seasons with Ducati. Holy crap what a dumb move IMO.

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    • TF says:

      Yeah but what are there, only six factory team spots? How could you say no unless you were being offered Casey’s ride for next year?

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    • Gutterslob says:

      He may have had no choice. We can only speculate what went on within Tech3 with regards to the remaining seat they had.
      There’s also the matter of Tech3 being a satellite team, and the gap between them and the factory Yamaha would only increase after a year’s worth of developement since the new rule change. It’s definitely a risk, seeing how many rider’s careers the Ducati has stifled (most of them being Italian riders, ironically), but I suppose it’s a chance he was willing to take.

      I still have no clue what made the Tech3 boss want to sign an underachieving Bradley Smith, though. Is he bringing some big-arse sponsor or something?

      @MD
      Could you guys PLEASE use some form of authentication that’s not a captcha, or at least a captcha from a different company/source. My standard US qwerty keyboard doesn’t have the Klingon alphabets that this blasted thing displays.

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    • Dave says:

      Pro riders are limited-life earners. The amount of cash that Rossi’s departure left on the table probably means that Dovi’ will earn more to lose on the Duc then he would have in Stoner’s vacated seat. There are few secrets in the paddock. If he rides well against a failing machine, his quality will be well known and he’ll be able to sign onto a winning program in the future, after presumably pocketing lots of Italian minted Euros on the Ducati.

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    • v says:

      He did great on the Yamaha, and still didn’t get a factory bike – and now that Rossi joined the team he won’t get one for years. MotoGP riders need full factory support to have a chance of winning repeatedly. With Ducati he’ll most likely makes a lot more money and at least has an outside chance in that the next Ducati could be a great bike.

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