Based on information from Motorsport.com, Yamaha is negotiating with Andrea Dovizioso so that he will become the brand’s test rider in MotoGP next season. The intention of the manufacturer is that the Italian pilot replaces Jorge Lorenzo, already recruited to this post last winter.
Dovizioso, who announced in August that he would not be renewing his contract with Ducati in 2021, would have had only one option to remain the holder, that of joining Aprilia in the event that Noale’s team had need a new recruit to replace Andrea Iannone if he saw his suspension for doping be confirmed by CAS. Having made it clear from the news of his departure from Ducati that he would not continue to race at all costs and that he should be convinced by the chances of success for that, the vice-world champion did not have long left hope to the Italian manufacturer.
Dovizioso has therefore evaluated in recent weeks the three possibilities open to him to become a test pilot. Yamaha, Honda but also KTM have all been in contact with his manager, Simone Battistella, and he naturally seeks to satisfy his client’s wishes, which are not lacking.
Besides the economic question, which of course counts, one of the most important aspects for the # 04 is that it is given the opportunity to race in other disciplines, and in particular in motocross, its great passion. “What Andrea wants is to be able to participate in races in other disciplines during the year”, confirms Simone Battistella to Motorsport.com.
Equally important, if not more: Dovizioso wants to return to the starting grid of MotoGP as soon as possible, which means, a priori, not before 2022. In this sense, logic may have suggested at first that the best option for it would be to join Honda which, not only would secure the development services of the one who has best withstood Marc Marquez over the past three years, but who would also have a replacement guarantee in case the absence of # 93 was to last more than hoped. HRC officials, however, do not envisage that the Italian will combine the test work to be carried out on the RC213V with the fact of lining up in motocross races, where he could be injured as was the case when he broke his collarbone while competing in a regional event in Italy at the end of June, three weeks before the start of the championship.
As for the KTM group, it can already count on Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio in the role of test driver, and both seem to have to keep their place in 2021. The Catalan’s work, in particular, has been praised in recent months and evidenced by early victories and results which have led the constructor to a level playing field with top brands. But in the perspective of a return to competition in 2022 with an ambition of success, it would not seem very logical that Dovizioso team up with a manufacturer which, as it is, has no room to fill in the short term. run and has yet to prove that he can fight for the title.
With the most victorious machine this season and two drivers (Rossi and Morbidelli) signed for one year onlyYamaha is therefore now in pole position to find Dovizioso. In 2012, he had already ridden on the M1 in the Tech3 team, with six podiums at the time and fourth place in the championship, second in the Yamaha clan at 132 points. Jorge Lorenzo, author of a record year for his second title.
The Mallorcan has made his return to Yamaha this year as a test rider, only he could not contribute to the development of the M1 as was desired. “Originally, for this season we wanted to try to have more testing opportunities in Europe, that was the plan we had”, Yamaha YZR-M1 project manager Takahiro Sumi recalled during a press conference during the Teruel Grand Prix.
“But unfortunately the current situation does not allow us to travel freely and have these opportunities. It is something that we did not expect at all, and therefore we lost the benefit of recruiting Jorge. may have had only one opportunity [de test] after Sepang in February, and it’s a shame “, regrets the engineer. The fact is that Lorenzo only rode in February and October, and each time on the handlebars of an older version of the M1, which Yamaha blamed on logistical difficulties.
For 2021, Takahiro Sumi assured him: the objective is to finally succeed in running the European test team hoped for two years. “Next year we’re going to try to find ways to test on racetracks in Europe, so we’re sticking to that direction for next year. At the moment, we’re just considering how The team will be structured, whether it is the driver or the staff, it is under study and therefore we cannot say for the moment what will be decided “, he said last weekend.
Andrea Dovizioso has meanwhile let it be known in recent days that his choice would soon be made. “The final decision will be made this week”, assures Simone Battistella to Motorsport.com.