Andrea Dovizioso gets Misano DTM wildcard
Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso will make his DTM debut at Misano in June for WRT Audi in place of Haas Formula 1 test driver Pietro Fittipaldi.
Dovizioso currently sits third in the MotoGP standings, three points down on series leader Marc Marquez, following fourth-place finish at Jerez, and has been runner up in the championship for the past two seasons.
The 13-time MotoGP race winner is no stranger to car racing, making an appearance in the Lamborghini Supertrofeo series at Valencia in 2016, where he managed a win in the PRO-AM class.
Dovizioso tested the RS 5 DTM machine at Ducati owners Audi's base in Neuberg on Tuesday following the season-opener, and will spend two days at Misano on May 22-23 in the car before his debut race on June 8.
“I love cars and I feel lucky to be able to race with the Audi RS 5 DTM,” said Dovizioso, whose DTM outing comes between the Mugello and Catalan MotoGP races.
“It’s tough to find the time to prepare for it during the MotoGP season but I am really looking forward to compete in such a high-level context as the DTM.
“The car is amazing, but it’s a different challenge compared with my Desmosedici GP and I need to get prepared, so I did many laps in the simulator before stepping into it for the first time.
“Misano is a special track for every Italian driver and the place where I scored an incredible win last year so I'm very excited and thankful for this opportunity.”
Audi boss Dieter Gass expressed his delight at securing a “real superstar” to race his machinery, and believed Dovizioso's presence will “attract many additional fans” to the event.
“I’m delighted that in Andrea Dovizioso we managed to get a real superstar to race as a guest in the DTM,” he added.
“MotoGP riders are true heroes in Italy. Andrea hails from the Misano area, won the motorcycle grand prix there last year and is going to attract many additional fans. W
“We’re already extremely excited to see how he’s going to fare in his DTM debut. That he’s taking time out for the DTM between two MotoGP races is fantastic and not to be taken for granted at all.
“I’d like to particularly thank Ducati’s CEO Claudio Domenicali and Luigi Dall'Igna, General Manager of Ducati Corse, who agreed to this guest entry.
“That’s a big thing for the DTM and for motorsport in general.”
Regular WRT driver Fittipaldi will be absent from the Misano round owing to his Haas F1 commitments for the Canadian Grand Prix that weekend.