SportMotoGPThe story behind "DesmoDovi", the oldest rider on the...

The story behind "DesmoDovi", the oldest rider on the MotoGP grid

In addition to overtaking and unforgettable saves, MotoGP is characterized by leaving stories in the hearts of fans that remain impregnated in the memory. Both idyllic and forgettable, the relationships between motorcycle and rider mark the lives of those in love with two wheels. The marriage between Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati was one of them.

The generational change that MotoGP experienced after the departure of Casey Stoner was the right moment for the arrival of Andrea Dovizioso to mark a before and after in the history of Borgo Panigale .

The year was 2011. The Australian tried his luck at Honda and a silent void sheltered the garage of an Italian factory wanting to take on the world. Without giving it much thought, Borgo Panigale put his trust in Valentino Rossi and his favorite driver, Nicky Hayden. Ducati’s bet reaped two bittersweet years for the Italian factory, with just a total of four podiums.

After endless nights trying to find a way to squeeze the bike’s potential, Ducati ballast would only mean one thing for the red garage: the GP13 project suggested a change. And that change had an Italian accent, he came from Forlì and his head was full of dreams, specifically one: to win a World Cup.

Andrea Dovizioso opened the doors of the Italian box in 2013, a year in which the prototype was not going through its best moment. That pilot from the east of Bologna came euphoric after achieving a victory in the world championship, without knowing that a promising future awaited him with open arms. And that was how, nine years ago, he donned a helmet and red jumpsuit, creating, almost without realizing it, the origin of one of the strongest idylls in the history of motorcycling.

Mounted at the controls of a Desmosedici and convinced of changing the fate of the brand, the Italian rider put his cards on the table, starting a love story that will remain, for posterity, in the MotoGP paddock.

After four courses making the most of the prototype, Andrea Dovizioso celebrated the arrival of a new partner: Jorge Lorenzo. During the year in which he had the Balearic rider at his side, the Italian signed a total of six victories, fighting, every Sunday, hand in hand with his arch-rival in the fight for the title, Marc Márquez.

The binomial formed by the rider from Forlì and the rider from Cervera stole the hearts of the fans after Dovizioso’s victory in the last lap of Austria and Japan, leaving an unforgettable battle on paper. These duels continued to be talked about in 2018 and 2019, months in which Ducati was incontestable fighting to become number one.

Dovizioso won 14 races with the colors of what he already considered his home, and was crowned runner-up a total of three times in his MotoGP journey. Such was the idyll between rider and brand that the name Desmo-Dovi began to feature on the flags, caps and shirts in the MotoGP stands. They were one.

Unfortunately, that love story did not have a happy ending. After eight chapters full of emotions, Andrea Dovizioso left the Ducati garage as the second rider with the most victories without winning a world championship, but, yes, becoming the only rival that Marc Márquez had.

Sometimes life separates people to realize what they mean to each other. And getting on the controls of the GP20 for the last time, that driver from Forlì full of dreams fired the Italian box being the second driver who has won the most races with Ducati, behind Stoner.

However, a breakup is also a new opportunity in life. And Andrea Dovizioso’s life began again in 2022, the year in which he is the oldest rider on the MotoGP grid after the departure of Valentino Rossi.

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