(Reuters) – Andrea Dovizioso will quit MotoGP at the end of the year and will not return for the 2023 season as he no longer enjoys racing without being able to compete, the Italian rider has said.
Dovizioso, who began his career in 2001 and is a three-times MotoGP championship runner-up with Ducati, has scored only 10 points this season and has not finished in the top 10 at any race so far to sit a lowly 22nd in the standings.
Dovizioso quit Ducati at the end of the 2020 season and was without a team in 2021 until the latter half of the season when he was roped in by Petronas Yamaha — now the independent Yamaha RNF team.
“For sure, I will not race (next year), there is no reason to. I always said if I would not be competitive, I don’t want to be here,” Dovizioso told MotoGP.com, adding that he has struggled to adapt to the technical changes in the sport.
“There is no reason, especially after 20 years. I never tried to have a place for next year.
“I’m completely relaxed about that. I already did half a year out of racing last year. I already tested (retirement), so I’m OK about that. I didn’t want to finish the season like this.”
Dovizioso told Reuters earlier this year that he had been struggling for points-scoring finishes as he was unable to get to grips with the Yamaha bike which was very different to the Ducati machine he raced on for eight years.
The 36-year-old added that only reigning champion Fabio Quartararo was comfortable on the Yamaha this year and if the others did not ride like him, they were bound to struggle.
Quartararo leads the standings this season but the next best Yamaha rider is his factory Yamaha team mate Franco Morbidelli in 19th.
“If Fabio’s winning, there is a reason. So this means there is a possibility to be fast,” Dovizioso added.
“But if the other riders are complaining, like in the last (few) years, it means there isn’t more ways to be competitive like in the past.
“MotoGP has changed a lot. In the past, 10 years ago, the same riders were on top — doesn’t matter which bike… Now it’s different, the mechanical parts are a bit more important.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)