Petronas Yamaha newcomer Andrea Dovizioso spoke in detail for the first time today about his new challenge at Yamaha.
For Andrea Dovizioso, after eight years with Ducati and nine days of probation in Aprilia, a new adventure begins in Misano. Tomorrow in FP1 from 9.55 a.m. he will drive the YZR-M1-Yamaha for the first time since 2012, as he will replace Franky Morbidelli on the Petronas-Yamaha team and his friend Valentino Rossi will be his first time teammate.
Duffy said at the 2020 World Cup final in Valencia that he had not stepped down and that he had yet to feel retired from MotoGP. But he admits that during the season he had doubts at times whether he would get another well-paid, competitive motorcyclist contract at the age of 35. Duffy also admitted that the results in the remaining five races in 2021 are of secondary importance; It is primarily working on preparations for 2022, when instead of the two-year-old M1, it will get a 2022 factory machine and factory support from Yamaha Motor Company.
“I’ll be starting from scratch with Yamaha in a few hours,” says the 15-time MotoGP winner.
“Last November, I was hesitant to announce my retirement as a motorcyclist. Because I knew exactly what I wanted. I thought if I opened any doors I would worry about it. But I haven’t been upset or upset in ten months. Because I have four years of success behind me. Now I can stay home and take the stress out of racing after 20 years. My girlfriend in particular assured me several times that this year I have been more relaxed than usual. I have been able to enjoy my passion outside of MotoGP, for example doing a lot of motocross. “
“Of course, this is not the way to want to participate in a motocross weekend,” said the three-time runner-up and 125cc world champion from 2004 prior to his debut at Petronas Yamaha. Duffy has been driving V4 machines for nine years now. At Misano, he returned to Yamaha with a four-cylinder in the line.
“But I am somewhat lucky because I can do five Grand Prix and two tests before the start of next season. One test here in Misano and the other in Jerez in November,” Dovizioso noted. “That is a lot more than what a MotoGP rider would normally get before a team change. But I also have to stress that expectations for 2021 are not high. Currently results are not a priority. First, I have to get to know the bike and the team with Ramon Furcada, who will also be the crew chief in 2017. 2022. He has a lot of experience with Yamaha and that will help. But at the same time we have seen this year that all the other riders except Fabio have issues with Yamaha.”
Has Duffy seriously considered running the 2022 World Cup season at the Aprilia factory? “It was good to test Aprilia. So I was able to ride the MotoGP bike regularly and help Aprilia quite a bit. The atmosphere and the relationship with the team was really good.”
Dovi was already up for discussion at Aprilia as Aprilia’s regular driver for 2021, but the driver’s budget wasn’t enough for two aces, so the inexpensive and slow-moving Lorenzo Savadori was hired.
As a result, the climate between Aprilia and Dovi cools slightly in winter. “But race director Massimo Rivola insisted and kept saying I should try the bike. So I said yes to Jerez in April,” Duffy looks back. “After that the motorcycle improved step by step, Alex Espargaro showed excellent performance.”
But then there was a rift between Yamaha and Vinales, and the coveted doors opened for Dovizioso. “I would have liked to have joined the Yamaha staff rather than Viñales,” he admits. But this did not happen. Now I am happy with the opportunity I got at Petronas.”
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