Andrea Dovizioso has opened up the flood gates about why he left Ducati.
After 8 seasons with the Italian manufacturer Andrea Dovizioso has parted ways with Ducati, announcing this in terrific fashion in the Austrian GP. Dovizioso was sick and tired of how he was being treated by Ducati who expect #1 and anything less than this is unacceptable, Dovi took 3 runners up medals in MotoGP behind Marc Marquez who is the most dominant rider the sport has ever seen since Valentino Rossi’s 2001-2005 title run.
Prior to and during the Austrian Grand Prix there was much talk surrounding Ducati and Dovizioso with no news of a contract being signed for 2021 and onwards with growing frustrations between the two becoming more and more public. These frustrations were highlighted in the Red Bull Documentary ‘Undaunted’ which followed the 2019 season of Andrea Dovizioso, giving viewers a look into what goes on behind the scenes, it was very clear watching this that Dovizioso held much anger and frustration towards Ducati and this blew up over the Austrian Grand Prix weekend.
During the weekend several Ducati members including Davide Tardozzi confirmed to the media that they were looking at Dovizioso’s performances and evaluating these to decide whether they wanted to hire him for the following season, they publically gave Dovizioso an ultimatum stating that he had 3 race weekends to impress and if he didn’t then they would look to hire another rider. This was the tipping point for Dovizioso, after years of frustration towards the brand and bringing them 14 MotoGP class wins he felt disrespected.
The confirmation of the split was confirmed by Dovizioso’s manager Simone Battistella to Sky Italia the day after this ultimatum was given, Ducati CEO Paolo Ciabatti also confirmed this on the same day, Dovizioso had cut ties with Ducati and confirmed he wanted to focus on racing and not on a contract. The Austrian Grand Prix race was the very next day and was bittersweet for Dovizioso who took the race win, putting up middle fingers aimed at Ducati on the podium for all to see.
Don’t make it too obvious eh?
It was common knowledge that the reason for the split was down to money with Ducati wanting to give Dovizioso a pay cut due to COVID-19 cutting into their budgets, however, Dovizioso has confirmed otherwise in an interview with Italian media Gazzetta Della Sport saying, “It was said that I wanted this and that. All lies. There was never an offer, there were no negotiations. I still did not know that they no longer wanted me. But what they said was the confirmation that for Dall’Igna it was already over after that 2019 meeting.”
The 2019 meeting? You may be wondering what said meeting was, this was the meeting which effectively ended his contract from 2020 onwards with an argument with Gigi Dall’Igna exploding out of control and Gigi mentally closing the doors on a new contract, keeping this to himself, of course, to preserve what little relationship the pair had.
“Let’s say that there was no transparent behaviour [between Ducati and Dovizioso]”, said Dovizioso. “Unlike Petrucci, who was told before the season that there would be no room [Petrucci was replaced by Jack Miller incredibly early on into the season]. Gigi stated that he understood that it was already over from the 2019 meeting between the Sachsenring and Austria.
“It was supposed to be a technical meeting. we had different ideas, there was friction and we wanted to meet with all the engineers. It started as a technical meeting, but it became a confrontation between the two of us and, I don’t know how to describe it, Gigi felt… attacked, beaten. I think at that moment he closed the doors, but he did it quietly. But in 2020 statements were made about my motivation. Now we know that it was not the truth. It was not transparent. Because the situation in Ducati in 2020 was that of 2019, of 2018.”
Dovizioso has run a number of names on his suit over the years, from ‘DesmoDovi’ to ‘Undaunted’. After losing a bet with his friends he ran ‘Unemployed’ at Misano which was a very funny dig at his situation. Ducati weren’t pleased.
Dovizioso confirms he has no relationship with Gigi, decreasing as the years went by with Ducati putting their efforts into Lorenzo instead of trying to beat Marc Marquez who they nearly signed for 2016.
“What is the relationship with Gigi? Zero,” admitted Dovizioso. “In the past years it was at 30%, then since Jorge Lorenzo arrived in 2017 – due to arguing and going against each other – my team became a bit isolated.
“We no longer talked about the development of the bike, we no longer held meetings to develop it. But in Ducati there is potential to do so because the competence and skill [levels] are very high. Of these eight years it’s the only thing that makes me angry because we could have done more.
“At the beginning of 2016 there was the possibility of taking on [Marc] Marquez, but Gigi had already decided that he wanted Lorenzo.”
“Gigi makes all the decisions in Ducati, including that of focusing on Lorenzo instead of Marquez. We haven’t talked about developing the bike since 2017.”
Featured image – www.motogp.com