Andrea Dovizioso will not compete in MotoGP in the 2021 season after revealing that he had turned down several test opportunites from manufacturers.
Dovizioso decided to leave current employers Ducati after several months of tough negotiations with the Italian marque.
With most 2021 seats already sewn up by the time Dovizioso announced his Ducati departure during the Austrian Grand Prix event in August, a race he went on to win, Dovizioso had been linked with a test role elsewhere.
Despite getting offers from “several” manufacturers for a test role, Dovizioso announced on Tuesday evening that he would skip 2021 with a vision to securing a race seat for 2022 “as soon as I find a project driven by the same passion and ambition that I have.”
“Over the last few months, I have received several offers to work as a test rider in developing MotoGP projects and I am grateful for the consideration received by the manufacturers,” read a short statement from Dovizioso.
“However, I have decided not to make any commitments and to remain free from formal agreements for now.
“I have an immense passion for racing. I still have the ambition to compete and fight to win. I will return to MotoGP as soon as I find a project driven by the same passion and ambition that I have and within an organization that shares my same objectives, values and working methods.
“Now I am focused on finishing the World Championship in the best possible way, and I have already started developing some projects with my partners.”
The relationship between Dovizioso and Ducati deteriorated significantly across the 12 months.
The 2004 125cc world champion finished as runner-up to Marc Marquez across 2017 to 2019, though his calm and calculating nature drew criticism from Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali in the documentary Undaunted that detailed the trials and tribulations of Dovizioso’s ’19 campaign.
Domenicali remarked that Dovizioso lacked the “touch of madness that maybe the ‘Ducatisti’ would appreciate”, while Ducati general manager Gigi D’illgna reckoned he should be more “instinctive and less thoughtful” during battle.
Dovizioso on the other hand found himself continually frustrated with Ducati’s inability to cure its Desmosedici’s turning problem, an issue further highlighted as its power advantage has slowly dwindled away relative to the likes of Honda, KTM and Suzuki over the past couple of seasons.
Dovizioso scored 14 of his 15 career premier class victories with Ducati since joining the manufacturer for the 2013 campaign, with his other previous success coming with the Repsol Honda outfit at the rain-hit 2009 British Grand Prix.
He also spent a year competing with Yamaha machinery with then satellite outfit Tech 3, collecting six rostrums en-route to fourth in the overall standings.