Andrea Dovizioso could be set to take a sabbatical from MotoGP should he fail to reach an agreement to continue with Ducati, says his manager Simone Battisella.
Dovizioso and Ducati have so far failed to come to an agreement to continue a relationship that began back in 2013, the Italian having secured 13 victories and three successive runners-up championship finishes in the last three campaigns.
Dovizioso has been vocal on the lack of progress regarding his Desmosedici’s continual turning difficulties, which has put a strain on relationship with Ducati technical director Gigi Dall’igna in particular.
Speaking on the MotoGP Podcast, Battisella admitted that should his and Dovizioso’s conditions not be met “he (Dovizioso) prefers not to continue.”
“It is an option that we value,” said Battistella.
“If the conditions are not met, he prefers not to continue.
“Andrea is not thinking about retiring, he feels strong and well, he is in the best shape and he does not think about leaving.
“It is true that if you do not have an interesting project you are not interested in accepting, you are willing to wait until it arrives.
“That does not mean he is going to retire, it means that he is not going to have a team to race in and he is going to wait for that project to come.”
Ducati is likely to be the only potential landing pad for Dovizioso, with his main alternative-KTM-having announced their four ‘21 riders across its factory and satellite Tech 3 outfit last week, including current Ducati team-mate Danilo Petrucci.
Jack Miller has already sealed the first factory Ducati ride for next year, the Australian receiving his promotion after a promising sophomore campaign with the Pramac Ducati team in which he scored five podium finishes, including an emotional home rostrum at Phillip Island.
Dovizioso meanwhile continues to recover from a broken collarbone after crashing in a Motocross race last week, the emergency surgery he received the same evening at the Policlinico di Modena hospital having gone well.
He is expected to make the start for the MotoGP season opener at Jerez in two weeks time, Dovizioso stating he “isn’t feeling much pain” following his surgery.