MotoGP: Dovizioso to PETRONAS, Morbidelli to Monster Energy Yamaha
Yamaha have today confirmed their plans for the remaining races in the 2021 MotoGP World Championship as well as confirming and hinting to their future plans for 2022.
The incident involving Maverick Viñales that occurred in Austria has opened a huge rider transfer window for 2022, a year which normally wouldn’t see many changes as riders have contracts in place. However, following Viñales departure, Yamaha has seats to fill – with Valentino Rossi also leaving the MotoGP grid as he begins his retirement.
Speaking to BT Sport on Sunday morning, Lin Jarvis confirmed that Franco Morbidelli will return to MotoGP action in Misano and will immediately join run-away leader Fabio Quartararo in the factory team. That leaves a seat open at PETRONAS which was also confirmed to be filed by Andrea Dovizioso who will form an all Italian squad alongside Rossi. Dovi, a 15-time winner in the premier class will return to full-time action having agreed to ride the Yamaha M1 in 2022 under the new identity which will be confirmed by Razlan Razali and Johann Stigefelt in Misano.
With Morbidelli and Dovizioso joining the fold in Misano, that leaves a seat open in SRT for Aragon. Jake Dixon partnered Valentino Rossi having made his MotoGP debut at Silverstone and the Dover rider impressed. From the first practice to morning warm-up, Dixon made incredible progress before grip issues, similar to that of Francesco Bagnaia and team-mate Rossi, which saw the Italian drop from sixth to 18th, halted the British rider, leaving him running at only 50% performance.
But it’s good news for Dixon, who looks likely to remain with SRT’s premier class outfit until Dovizioso returns to MotoGP in Misano. Dixon’s current Moto2 team-mate Xavi Vierge refused the offer to race in Aragon alongside Rossi to focus on Moto2, and with Darryn Binder fighting for a top-five finish in the Moto3 World Championship, it’s looking likely that Dixon will once again ride the MotoGP machine at the Alcañiz circuit.
Should Dixon impress further, it could be likely that he will join the team in 2022 – becoming the only British rider on the MotoGP grid. Should Dixon remain with the SRT team in Aragon, he will join fellow Brit Cal Crutchlow, who will sport the number 35 aboard the Monster Energy M1 Yamaha once again.
As always, nothing is confirmed until announced, but the rumour mill keeps on churning. Who would you like to see partner Dovizioso in 2022?
Featured image: MotoGP.com