Dovizioso negotiating with Yamaha over MotoGP test rider role for 2021

Andrea Dovizioso could return to the Yamaha fold in 2021 as its official MotoGP test rider in place of Jorge Lorenzo, Autosport has learned

Dovizioso negotiating with Yamaha over MotoGP test rider role for 2021

Dovizioso rode a Yamaha in 2012 in his sole season with the Tech3 squad after being ousted from Honda, with the Italian scoring six podiums on the M1 and finishing fourth in the standings.

He announced in August he would not be renewing his contract with Ducati beyond this year, bringing an eight-year partnership to an end.

Dovizioso was on Aprilia's radar to join Aleix Espargaro in 2021, though Autosport understands he never considered the Italian marque an option.

Recently, Dovizioso confirmed he was speaking with several manufacturers about a test rider role for next year having previously stated a sabbatical is an option if he didn't find the right deal to continue racing.

In recent weeks, Yamaha, Honda and KTM have been in contact with Dovizioso's manager Simone Battistella regarding a test role.

As well as the economic side, it seems Dovizioso's desire from any deal would be the freedom to race in other disciplines - most notably motocross, having taken part in a round of the Emilia Romagna championship earlier this year before breaking his collarbone in a crash.

According to Battistella, a final decision will be made this week on his future.

"What Andrea wants is to be able to enrol in races in other disciplines this year," Battistella told Autosport.

"We will make the final decision this week."

A key element in Dovizioso's decision will be what manufacturer gives him the best option to return to the MotoGP grid full-time in 2022.

Given the uncertainty surrounding Marc Marquez's injured shoulder, further layoff would make Dovizioso a perfect substitute for Honda should HRC take him on.

But HRC isn't keen on the idea of Dovizioso combining development of the RC213V with the risk of injury from racing motocross.

KTM's work with test rider Dani Pedrosa has yielded two victories this year, and the Austrian marque's desire to promote in-house talent makes it unlikely Dovizioso would be guaranteed a 2022 seat - though not securing him for 2021 did "hurt" KTM.

This leaves Yamaha as his best option, given Valentino Rossi's Petronas SRT deal is at the moment only for one year, while the Japanese marque would greatly benefit from someone with recent race experience to help develop the M1 - not least its engine, which it will be looking to make a significant step forward with for 2022 having regularly been the slowest in the speed traps this year.

Lorenzo has only tested the M1 four times this year since February, and only the 2019 bike, while questions have been raised about his level of commitment and his usefulness to the project given he was four seconds off an Aprilia at the recent Algarve test in Portugal.

Autosport understands, Yamaha is in pole position to secure Dovizioso's services next year.

Under the regulations for non-concession teams, Yamaha could field Dovizioso on the grid on three occasions next season - though this will depend on the easing of current COVID-19 restrictions on wildcards.

Recently, Rossi said he'd welcome having the three-time championship runner-up as a test rider should the opportunity arise.

shares
comments
Miller thinks MotoGP yellow flag rules are "stupid"

Previous article

Miller thinks MotoGP yellow flag rules are "stupid"

Next article

Crutchlow "happy with career" if 2020 is his final MotoGP season

Crutchlow "happy with career" if 2020 is his final MotoGP season
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Andrea Dovizioso
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Oriol Puigdemont
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021