The 2004 125c world champion put pen to paper on a two year contract that has quashed fears that Ducati might have been on the verge of withdrawl from the sport under new owners, Audi.
Gabriele del Torchio, Ducati’s president, confirmed the news in a press release:
“The agreement reached with Andrea Dovizioso confirms the company’s primary interest in racing, which is an active and strategic part of Ducati’s DNA and heritage,” said del Torchio. “It is with great pleasure that I welcome Andrea, as we marshal our best efforts in confronting the MotoGP World Championship. Along with Nicky Hayden, with whom we have renewed a working agreement, we are confident that we will be able to proceed with our development program, to compete, and to obtain the results and rewards that will repay our efforts and the faith that our partners, sponsors and fans have never failed to demonstrate.”
The hiring of Dovizioso will be an integral part of the team’s future development with Filippo Prezuisi saying that, “Andrea’s technical sensibility and test-riding abilities are of great value, as are his talent and determination.”
Ducati’s technical leader went on to say that, “The knowledge that we will have him on our team and be able to count on his collaboration serves as an additional incentive to continue with the growth and development of our MotoGP project. I’m pleased that he has chosen to be a part of our team. He is aware of the work to be done, and he approaches it with enthusiasm and confidence, which are fundamental requirements for achieving success and for competing in this challenging championship.”
Dovizioso, currently racing for the Tech3 team had said all through the season that he was looking to return to a factory squad in 2013 but while his initial hopes of moving to the Yamaha squad were dashed once Rossi announced his desire to return there Ducati is a good option for Dovizioso.
The Italian manufacturer was the only available factory seat and with it all but impossible to win on a satellite bike Dovizioso has weighed the pros of a potential podium bike, the Tech3, with the chance to lead the development of a factory machine at Ducati.
Rossi’s struggles should mean that Ducati race with much lower expectations next season but having Dovizioso and Hayden together gives them two very talented development riders.
If Audi are willing to spend the money required to win Dovizioso may well have found a perfect landing spot.