Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati are surely not living the best time of their relationship, started in 2013. The Italian crew and 2004 125cc World Champion grew up a lot during the years, after two difficult seasons in 2013 and 2014, where the bike was not competitive compared to Honda and Yamaha.
Both Dovizioso and Ducati never gave up and developed the bike as much as possible, starting to have some good responses from 2015, where Andrea fought for the victory in the opening round in Qatar and then had a lot of podium battles during the season.
Things went even better on the following year, as on 2016 Ducati came back to victory with Andrea Iannone at Red Bull Ring with Dovi second, and Dovizioso came back to win as well some months later in Malaysia after a thrilling wet race.
That was the prelude of a magical 2017, where Andrea Dovizioso contended the World Title to Marc Marquez, scoring 6 victories with some historical races as Spielberg and Motegi, where the Italian outperformed the Spaniard with two crazy last corner moves even if it was not able to win the Championship as Honda HRC clinched his 6th World Title at the last race in Valencia.
Everyone expected to have Andrea Dovizioso even more in charge in the following season and the Italian seemed to be ready to fight for the title again as he won the opening round in Qatar thanks to another spectacular last corner move on Marc Marquez, but then some crashes ruled Dovi out of the competition, even if it was still able to finish 2nd in the championship standings.
Dovizioso won also the opening round of 2019 in Qatar, but Honda and Marquez were unbeatable in the last season and the Italian could only have glory again at Red Bull Ring, once again with a stunning last corner attack on Marc.
2020 will see again Andrea Dovizioso aiming for the World Title, but pandemic Coronavirus stopped the Championship and delayed it with date to be established. Marquez would probably have started the season with some pain as he was still recovering from his shoulder’s operations, but now he has fully recovered.
The ongoing crisis forced MotoGP to take a break and freeze development for this and next year and the manufacturers had even to look for riders’ contracts, as a lot of guys had their ones ending on 2020. Suzuki made his move confirming his line-up, while Yamaha kept Maverick Vinales and promoted Fabio Quartararo, while Honda HRC renewed Marquez’s contract for 4 years.
With Valentino Rossi who seems to be keeping his MotoGP journey in Petronas alongside Franco Morbidelli, the last big Team who has to do his moves is Ducati. Original plan seemed to be having once again Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci, but something changed as both of them are not sure to keep their seat on 2021.
For sure Danilo Petrucci was the most discussed rider on the field, as his seat was not sure and now is even more in danger, with the Italian who could not even try to defend his place by his results. Jack Miller is the main candidate for his seat and seems to be really close to a Factory Ducati for 2021. On the other side, Andrea Dovizioso is discussing his renewal but his relationship with Ducati is no more too good as it used to be.
That is why Dovizioso is probably looking for something else, even if there are not too many manufacturers free at the moment, as only KTM and Aprilia have Factory bikes to propose. Rumors started to tell that Andrea Dovizioso is really close to KTM, but there is nothing sure yet and KTM Motorsports director Pit Beirer refused this speculations.
His will is indeed to “Keep the actual line-up as we are satisfied with the job done and sure we will make a proposal for next year to all 4 riders”, who are Pol Espargaro, Miguel Oliveira, Iker Lecuona and Brad Binder. But it is not a secret that Pol Espargaro is looking for Honda HRC seat, as Alex Marquez is not certain to keep his one in the next season. But nothing is done yet, as told by the same Beirer, even if he wants to stay with his 4 riders even for 2021.
Anyway, at the moment everything will stay as it is, but we expect a lot of rumors and something to happen in the following weeks. Who knows if Pit Beirer’s words are 100% truth or not, but at the same time who knows if Andrea Dovizioso is making his moves to have a better contract with Ducati?
Only time will tell.