Former Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso has announced that he will be taking a sabbatical from MotoGP in 2021. The 2020 title contender has quashed all rumours that he will be joining as a test rider for other teams next season. Instead, the rider has decided to take some time off and will focus on his passion of motocross racing next year. He will also work on a grand comeback to the premier-class in 2022. Earlier this year, Dovizioso had confirmed that he will not renew his contract with Ducati, ending an eight-year-old partnership with the Italian team.
In an Instagram post, Dovizioso confirmed the news. He said, "Over the last few months, I have received several offers to work as a test rider in developing MotoGP projects and I am grateful for the consideration received by the manufacturers," Dovizioso wrote on his Instagram account. However, I have decided not to make any commitments and to remain free from formal agreements for now. I have an immense passion for racing. I still have the ambition to compete and fight to win. I will return to MotoGP as soon as I find a project driven by the same passion and ambition that I have and within an organisation that shares my same objectives, values and working methods. Now I am focused on finishing the world championship in the best possible way, and I have already started developing some projects with my partners."
Andrea Dovizioso has had a fairly successful career in MotoGP and is a 15-time MotoGP race winner. He is also the only rider to have to come close to challenging Marc Marquez's dominance in the sport in recent years and finished as a runner-up in two championships. Apart from rumours of a test rider role with KTM, Yamaha and even Honda, Dovizioso was also linked to a seat at Aprilia, but it is said that 'DesmoDovi' was never really interested in the same.
At present, Dovizioso's focus will be on completing the championship. Despite a lukewarm season, the rider still remains open for the world title and is 45-points adrift from the leader Joan Mir. With 50 points up for grabs in the final two races, Dovi is technically still in the race for the 2020 championship title.
That said, it will be interesting to see how and where the Italian rider returns to in MotoGP in 2022. There will be multiple contracts up for renewal at the end of the 2021 season, which does open more doors and negotiations for the rider to stage a grand return. However, he will also be 36 years at the time, which could be a concern for MotoGP teams.