Dovizioso insists he was serious about leaving Ducati MotoGP team

Andrea Dovizioso insists he gave serious consideration to leaving the Ducati MotoGP team before finally securing a contract extension

Dovizioso insists he was serious about leaving Ducati MotoGP team

It was announced on Friday that Dovizioso will remain at Ducati for another two seasons beyond the end of 2018, ending speculation over the 32-year-old's future.

Dovizioso's success in 2017, when he won six races and took the title fight with Marc Marquez to the final round of the season, put pressure on Ducati to adequately compensate its star rider.

The Italian held talks with rival marques Honda and Suzuki, even rejecting Ducati's initial offer, before finally concluding a deal to stay put early in the French Grand Prix weekend.

Asked if he seriously pictured himself walking away from Ducati at any stage during the protracted negotiations, Dovizioso replied: "Yes. Every rider has to be really egoistic in the way you think, to be fast.

"I don't think you have to look at that in a bad way, because we speak about racing.

"So it's normal to think about being in a different team, to try and understand if it's a good thing or not.

"I was open [to leaving Ducati] because when you are speaking about contracts, you have to have an open mind."

With Dovizioso's renewal secured, focus will now turn towards who will partner him for the next two seasons amid uncertainty over Jorge Lorenzo's future.

The agonising choice that will define Lorenzo's legacy

Lorenzo's main alternative to remaining at Ducati is a move to Suzuki, with Pramac duo Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller the main candidates to replace him if he leaves.

Pressed on whether he had a preferred option as a team-mate next year, Dovizioso insisted Ducati's choice was of little consequence to him.

"Like I always did in the past, I'm not too involved about that," he said.

"I explained to the team what I think is good, but they will take a decision and I don't think it's too important for me."

Asked specifically about whether Lorenzo should stay, Dovizioso added: "For me it's not a problem. I'm not the kind of rider who decides the second rider.

"I explained to Ducati what I think for me is good, and what for Ducati is good.

"But at the end, it's not my decision. I am focused on me."

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