The Tech 3 MotoGP team has reached a one-year agreement with Andrea Dovizioso, signing the Repsol Honda factory rider to take Colin Edwards’ place on the Yamaha satellite team in the 2012 season.
Dovizioso will join the Tech 3 Yamaha team after three years with the Repsol Honda team. Despite currently holding onto the third overall spot on the 2011 championship points standings with five podium appearances and 13 top-five finishes in 15 races, Dovizioso found himself the odd man out with Honda which will stick with a two-man factory team of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa with Marco Simoncelli riding a factory-supported Honda RC212V with the Gresini team.
Ironically, Dovizioso’s career as a Honda factory rider may have come to an end because he was doing too well. After Honda signed Stoner to a new contract last season, the manufacturer had planned on a two-man team with Pedrosa on the other bike for 2011. Dovizioso however threw a wrench in that plan by finishing fifth in the 2010 season, triggering a performance clause in his contract guaranteeing him another year on the factory team.
Dovizioso is doing even better this season with a near lock on a top four finish but will leave Honda at the end of this season despite a rumored offer to race for the LCR Honda satellite team.
After making his 125cc Grand Prix debut riding an Aprilia in at the 2001 Italian Grand Prix, Dovizioso joined the Scot Honda race team as a full time rider to compete in the 2002 125cc World Championship. In 2004, Dovizioso won the 125cc world title and the following season entered the 250cc class. Dovizioso followed up a third place finish in 2005 with a pair of runner-up finishes before entering the premiere class in 2008. The following season, Honda signed Dovizioso to the factory team.
In four seasons in the premiere class, Dovizioso has one race victory and 14 podium finishes. He has finished no lower than sixth place in any class including the MotoGP class since his rookie year in the 125cc class.
Dovizioso will take Edwards’ place alongside returning Tech 3 racer Cal Crutchlow. Edwards has signed with the Forward Racing squad.
[Source: Yamaha, Photo by GEPA Pictures]