SportMotoGPWhy Dovizioso is more a patch than a Yamaha...

Why Dovizioso is more a patch than a Yamaha bet

Lin Jarvis , director of Yamaha, confirmed on Sunday at Silverstone the imminent reappearance of Dovizioso, scheduled for within two grands prix, at Misano . There is also the officialization of the project that will assume the reins of the satellite team of the Japanese manufacturer from 2022, once Petronas has been scared as a sponsor, and of which Dovi will be the spearhead after securing the best motorcycle available.

The stars have aligned to give the player from Forli , who will be 36 years old next year, an opportunity to return to the World Cup, which did not exist just a month ago.

The traumatic divorce between Maverick Viñales and Yamaha precipitated a series of movements that opened the slot through which the #04 has slipped, which at the end of last year decided to take some time off by not renewing its contract with Ducati. After Casey Stoner , the only MotoGP world champion to be crowned on one of the red prototypes (2007), Dovizioso has been the company’s most successful rider in this championship, in which he was runner-up three times (2017- 2019), always behind Marc Márquez .

However, his time at the Bolognese team was not marked precisely by calm, but rather by the high tension that was generated by the relationship he had with Gigi Dall’Igna , the company’s general manager.

The indisputable leadership of the engineer at Ducati regularly generated friction with Dovi’s personality, who on many occasions did not feel sufficiently listened to and, by extension, valued.

The sports management that Dall’Igna did, first with Andrea Iannone and then by hiring Jorge Lorenzo for a millionaire – the basis of the agreement with the Majorcan assured him 10 times more than what was included in that of his partner –, even more tense a rope that the outbreak of the Covid finished breaking.

Unlike what happens with the Italian manufacturer, the focus is much more dissipated in Yamaha, which does not have anyone who brings together as much power as Dall’Igna. That should make the incorporation of Dovizioso much more placid, and allow Yamaha to extract all the juice from what, after the withdrawal of Valentino Rossi , will be the competitor with the most grand prizes behind him (186).

One might think that if there is a team that does not need help it is Yamaha , but what has happened with Honda in the last two years invites us to remain vigilant. In recent times, Yamaha has always been the brand that had its successes the most, both in the stage with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi , and after the arrival of Viñales, and later with Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli .

In this 2021, however, the model is much more similar to that of Honda with Marc Márquez, undisputed leader of the project, the only one capable of winning with the RC213V, a circumstance that has greatly penalized the firm of the golden wing when the Catalan was injured.

Dovizioso will disembark in Misano dressed in the SRT suit, where he will end this season driving an obsolete M1, which is based on the 2019 model and which has not received a single update so far. This is the toll you will have to pay to have an official M1 in 2022.

“These remaining races of 2021 will be a kind of test for Andrea, who hasn’t gotten on the bike and doesn’t know the team or the tyres. He will be facing very experienced drivers, so what comes next will be a preparation for 2022”, Simone Battistella , his agent, tells Motorsport.com .

Despite being aware of the fluke that his client has had, Battistella believes that leaving Ducati was the right thing to do: “That story was exhausted, because it was clear to us that in no case were they going to give him what he needs to be able to fight to win. ”. Following this statement, one wonders: will Yamaha give it to him?

Judging by the opinion of the rivals, most of them consider that the arrival of Dovizioso in the Yamaha environment is more the result of the situation than an express wish of the brand, absolutely dedicated to Quartararo . In Ducati, in Honda and in Suzuki they believe that the arrival of the Italian to Yamaha is a temporary solution that serves to cover one of the two vacancies that there were.

“First, SRT found a team without drivers, which later went on to have neither drivers nor sponsor”, they reason in the competition.

In fact, everything has squared thanks to the slam of Viñales, who, after first giving up his second year of contract (2022), agreed with Yamaha to settle their relationship in Spielberg . That has gone wonderfully for the company, which with this resolution will save around 10 million euros. That is the bag that he will have to manage his satellite team, once the frightened Petronas materializes.

“It is clear that Andrea is not racing again for the money, but because the project and the bike seem attractive to him, and he believes that he will be able to be competitive. The break he has taken has allowed him to recharge his batteries”, points out Battistella. In 2022, the driver’s salary will be around two million euros.

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