Andrea Dovizioso has agreed a two-year deal to race for Ducati from 2013, the team has confirmed today. The move to Ducati means he will replace fellow Italian Valentino Rossi who is leaving the team after this season.
Yamaha announced earlier this month that it had re-signed Rossi after the seven-time MotoGP champion finally gave up on his Ducati dream. Rossi’s aim at Ducati had been to add an eighth world crown to his trophy cabinet with the Italian manufacturer.
Since the news of Rossi moving back to Yamaha and the break down in discussions between Ducati and Dovizioso’s current team-mate Cal Crutchlow became public knowledge. It has been Dovizioso’s name that has been most heavily linked with the Bologna outfit. News of the deal has been made just days after Dovizioso claimed a podium for his current team Tech 3 Yamaha. The deal means that all available works rides have been filled for 2013.
Ducati released the following statement regarding the signing just two days ahead of the Czech Grand Prix:
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.”
The move will mean that Dovizioso will be in the rare position of having ridden three different manufacturers in three seasons having moved onto a Yamaha this season following his time at Repsol Honda.
Dovizioso himself had fuelled the rumours earlier this week by saying that he was confident that he could succeed where Rossi had failed in adapting to the bike. He was quoted in Gazzetta dello Sport as saying: “No rider likes to change often, but it’s OK: I have adapted to the Yamaha bike, so I’ll do the same with the Ducati,”