Following the breaking news announcement from Austria that Andrea Dovizioso will NOT continue with Ducati for 2021, talk now turns on who will replace Andrea Dovizioso and where the Italian will go…
Andrea Dovizioso will break an eight year stint in red at the end of the 2020 season, with manager Simone Battistella announcing that at the end of the 2020 season Andrea Dovizioso would leave the Bologna manufacturer.
With Repsol Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and KTM all sorted for 2020, the only factory seat open for Dovizioso is Aprilia to join Aleix Espargaro. This would mean that the Italian will remain with an Italian team, making it even easier to further develop the Aprilia machine.
Dovizioso joined Ducati in 2013 and helped develop the ‘Bolgona Bullet’ into what it is today. It took Dovizioso over three years to bag his first win in red, his second premier class win of the season and then went on to claim 12 more. But would this help Dovizioso and Aprilia?
As we know, the Aprilia is not the first choice for the MotoGP riders. It’s incomplete package has been a hindrance to Aleix Espargaro over recent years. The Spaniard had a strong Saturday in Brno, qualifying in fourth but in race trim, Aleix struggled to stay inside the top ten.
Dovizioso could be the last piece of the puzzle to bring Aprilia back to the forefront of the MotoGP grid, bringing a wealth of experience with him. Dovizioso has ridden Honda and Yamaha machinery throughout his premier class stint and knows what a race-winning bike needs in the current era of MotoGP.
Currently, Aprilia has Aleix Espargaro as their leading rider, with test rider Bradley Smith acting as second rider while we await further information on Andrea Iannone and his future.
Bradley Smith is a known and proven test rider, the information given from the British rider is valuable for manufacturers to help aid the development of their machines. Okay, it is not quite the level of former MotoGP race winner Dani Pedrosa at KTM, but it is clear that Smith’s experience has helped Aprilia bridge the gap. This in itself is a good reason for Dovizioso to join Aprilia. The Noale manufacturer gets closer and closer every year and with Dovizioso’s raw speed, experience and knowledge, could that be the final piece of the puzzle to bring Aprilia into the podium fight in 2021?
Time will tell as to whether Andrea Dovizioso signs for another season in MotoGP, although at the moment, the 34-year-old is not in any open negotiations with any team on the MotoGP grid.
Featured image: Ducati Mediahouse