Factory test rider Crutchlow to stand in across the final six rounds.
Italian veteran Andrea Dovizioso won’t complete the 2022 MotoGP season after announcing he will retire following San Marino, to be replaced by Cal Crutchlow.
Dovizioso’s comeback as part of the WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team has been a shadow of his former career, prompting him to exit the sport with six races remaining.
The former world number two will compete at Silverstone and his home grand prix at Misano before hanging up his helmet and effectively making way for test rider Crutchlow to stand in.
“In 2012, the experience with the Iwata manufacturer in MotoGP had been very positive for me and since then I have always thought that, sooner or later, I would have liked to have an official contract with Yamaha,” the 36-year-old reflected. “This possibility presented itself, actually in a somewhat daring way, during 2021.
“I decided to give it a try because I strongly believed in this project and in the possibility of doing well. Unfortunately, in recent years MotoGP has changed profoundly. The situation is very different since then – I have never felt comfortable with the bike and I have not been able to make the most of its potential despite the precious and continuous help from the team and the whole of Yamaha.
”The results were negative, but beyond that, I still consider it a very important life experience. When there are so many difficulties, you need to have the ability to manage the situation and your emotions well. We did not reach the desired objectives, but the consultations with the Yamaha technicians and with those of my team have always been positive and constructive, both for them and for me.
“The relationship remained loyal and professionally interesting even in the most critical moments… it was not so obvious that that would happen. For all this and for their support, I thank Yamaha, the RNF Racing Team, WithU and the other sponsors involved in the project. It didn’t go as we hoped, but it was right to try. My adventure will end in Misano, but the relationship with all the people involved in this challenge will remain intact forever. Thank you all.”
Dovizioso claimed runner-up in the MotoGP title-chase no less than three times in 2017, 2018 and 2019, then was fourth in 2020 prior to taking a sabbatical. Upon return late last year with Yamaha, he never gelled with the YZR-M1 and is currently 22nd in points aboard a current factory-specification bike.
Earlier in his career, Dovizioso was crowned 125cc world champion in 2004, finished inside the top three in 250GPs between 2005-2007, then moved to MotoGP with Tech3 Yamaha in 2008. He has a total of 15 MotoGP victories to his credit, with much of that success coming with Ducati.