The Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso has declared that the 2022 MotoGP World Championship will be his final one. In an interview posted on his official website, he made the revelation, claiming that he always said he would retire the day he stopped being competitive.
In reality, Dovizioso’s retirement comes as a surprise to very few, especially given the game of musical chairs going on with riders following Suzuki’s exit from the game. Furthermore, the Italian rider’s name has not appeared in the 2023 roster, with Dovi himself being more inclined to race in motocross—something he enjoys very much, and has been competing professionally in Italy.
For the 36-year-old rider, who returned in 2022 with the satellite Yamaha team after taking a break in 2021, the current 2022 MotoGP season has not exactly been the greatest. It has been more than 20 years since he first competed in the 125cc class as a full-time rider in 2002, a division in which he won his sole world championship with Honda in 2004. Since then, he has only ever finished second, winning up to five times, all of them behind illustrious Spanish riders.
Dovizioso and Honda won two second-place finishes in the 250cc class in 2006 and 2007, both times falling short of Jorge Lorenzo. Meanwhile, he tied three straight second-place finishes in the MotoGP between 2017 and 2019, with Marc Márquez winning each time. Dovizioso competed with Ducati for eight seasons in the premier class, where he had the most of his successful finishes.
However, the 2022 season hasn’t been looking too good for Dovizioso, who in eleven races, has only managed to score ten points, and not a single finish in the top 10 at that. He currently sits at number 22 in the leaderboard—a rather substantial drop for a rider with a background of 15 victories and 62 podiums, and a total trophy chest consisting of 24 wins and 103 podiums across all classes.
Given Dovi’s retirement, Aleix Espargaro will now be the eldest racer in the MotoGP grid, and the only one born in the ‘80s. Furthermore, Espargaro will also be the last MotoGP racer in the roster with experience in the now extinct 250cc class. Also, Marc Marquez will be the only active MotoGP rider with the oldest title dating back to 2010, as well as a title aboard two-stroke machines. As such, it’s safe to say that we’re well and truly witnessing the turnover of generations in the world of racing—and we’re getting old, too.