Gordon Hatch, MotoGP Correspondent
The 2012 MotoGP rider line-up will see Andrea Dovizioso in Monster Yamaha Tech 3 colours after the team confirmed that the Italian will join them alongside British rider Cal Crutchlow. Dovizioso makes the switch from his current Repsol Honda team and so ending a relationship with the manufacturer that began in 2002.
The 25-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the French-based Tech 3 Team having proven to be one of the fastest and most consistent performers on the grid since his MotoGP debut in 2008. Five podium finishes, including four second places in 2011, have put Dovizioso in a fantastic third place in the World Championship standings with just three races remaining.
I am sure this new challenge will be exciting, motivating and fun.
The Italian, who was 125cc World Champion in 2004 and twice runner-up in the 250cc class, will join Cal Crutchlow at Tech 3 for the hugely anticipated first season of the new 1000cc MotoGP era, which kicks off in Qatar on April 15, 2012. Though no information has been released on when Dovizioso will test the new 1000cc Yamaha, the bike has already gotten the seal of approval from reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo and teammate Ben Spies.
Dovizioso is looking forward to next year with his new team saying, “I'm happy to have reached this agreement with Tech 3 for next year and I want to thank Hervé Poncharal for the opportunity he is giving me. I am excited to become part of Hervé's squad and to be teamed with Cal. I am sure this new challenge will be exciting, motivating and fun. Now that 2012 is sorted I want to focus on finishing the season in the best possible way."
Team Manager Hervé Poncharal was also very happy to have secured the services of the Italian. “I am delighted that a rider of Andrea's stature has decided to commit his future to Tech 3 and Yamaha. He is without doubt one of the fastest riders in the world who has proven on a regular basis that he is capable of challenging for the podium in MotoGP.
“I am thrilled that he trusts the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team to take his career to the next level and we can look forward to 2012 with high expectations. I am convinced that with Andrea and Cal we have one of the strongest line-ups on the grid in 2012 and both of them will demonstrate the potential of Yamaha's new 1000cc machine,” Poncharal added.
The signing of Dovizioso was rumoured since the Japanese Grand Prix when it was made known that satellite Honda rider Marco Simoncelli would ride a factory-spec RC213V. It is also believed Dovizioso turned down an offer to ride for the LCR Honda Team next year.