Dovizioso's farewell begins with thanks, because the true gentleman of MotoGP doesn't change even when he's leaving the scene. More than twenty years in the world championship, the world title in 125cc, 24 victories (15 in MotoGP), 103 podiums, these are his numbers. The Desmodovi that enchanted the fans on the Ducati will only be Andrea after Misano.
Where do we start from?
“I want to thank Yamaha and the WithU team, because they supported me and understood this decision. I was able to talk calmly with them during the summer break about my situation. After twenty years, it was a difficult decision, but it was time to make it. When a rider fails to be where he would like to be, he starts thinking and then you understand that the time is coming”.
What does it feel like?
“It's not nice when you think too much about retirement and no longer about races. I told myself that Misano would be the right place to finish, with lots of smiles and a nice party”.
Wasn't it possible for you to continue until the end of the season?
“I am a rational person and very self-critical, to do something I have to have an important motivation and I was missing it, I was unable to adapt myself enough to achieve good results. I could have continued if it had been possible to work on the structural aspects of the bike, I have the experience to do so, but during the season it is not possible. It takes time and I understood what was important for Yamaha at the moment”.
How did you feel the day you said stop?
“I'm not instinctive, at that point I had already metabolized my decision, I had already set my head (laughs). It is not an aggressive retirement, I had already had a taste of it last year, let's say it was gradual, painless”.
All the riders said goodbye to you warmly.
“It is very nice to be considered a good rider by your rivals. It's something important".
Have you already thought about what you will do next year?
“I don't have anything important on the table, but I haven't even tried to find anything yet. It is normal after so many years to need some time. I am still quite young; I will be able to enjoy a few years doing motocross. Then, for more than a decade, I have had the dream of creating something and I am close to it. I am focused on this project, but it is still early to talk about it”.
Would you be the riders’ representative?
"I'm not saying no, there is a 50% chance".
Could we then see you in the paddock again?
“I will keep a door open for each option, I had already had offers but I need more time”.
Why weren't you able to find the right harmony with the M1?
“When I first got on it I understood its base and I was surprised by the grip it offered and with which I have always struggled. My riding style is not the best to exploit its potential, but Quartararo has shown that with that bike you can win the title. I worked a lot, I tried many things, maybe too many, but it didn't help. I just had the confirmation that the Yamaha and my riding style don't match”.
Did the rear tyre change in 2020 affect this?
"It had a negative effect on me, but that year I still finished the championship in 4th place, I was the best Ducati rider, it was an acceptable result. In my opinion it was a combination of factors, MotoGP has changed, the way of riding also, it’s normal”.
Has it changed for the better or for the worse?
“Mine is not a negative comment, it has simply changed. Now in MotoGP it is difficult to see a lot of overtaking, because the speed of the strategy matters more and the aerodynamics do not help. They are only the consequences of the development”.
Only Quartararo is able to exploit the Yamaha, do you think he is in a situation similar to the one you found in Borgo Panigale when you arrived?
"That was almost another era in MotoGP, plus the Ducati I found in 2013 didn't have a good base but a lot of limitations. The Yamaha, on the other hand, is world champion, but it is a different bike from the past, from the one I rode in 2012. For years the M1 has been one of the easiest bikes to take to a certain level, in some respects it still is, but now you have to ride it in an extreme way to take advantage of its characteristics, and that's what Fabio does. Not to mention that I also found a strange internal situation in Ducati, there was a lot to reorganize."