The MotoGP paddock will say goodbye to veteran rider Andrea Dovizioso this weekend as he has decided to cut the pain early and retire after the Italian Grand Prix. His 2022 season on the RNF Yamaha team has been grim and dismal. It’s worst case scenario for a veteran rider like Dovi who has seen it all and in some ways done it all. If you’re a top veteran rider and your results are good, the racing life is tolerable to pleasant. If not, it sucks like being a roofer in Texas in July. Additionally, on top of the lack of pace is the fact that not being top-three fast comes with racing against a lot of unfamiliar faces and perhaps not as savvy riders. It’s not worth it.
Dovi came into MotoGP after winning the 2004 125cc world championship. He has won races in MotoGP and vied for the world championship several times but never won the world championship.
No one would dispute that Dovi has spent his MotoGP career being overshadowed by more popular, successful (and higher paid) teammates. He’s endured it all with a even-keel mindset.
Those that know Andrea Dovizioso as a friend away from the racetrack say he is perhaps the most normal “rider” they’ve met. He has a daughter he adores and is a good family man. Most weekends you can find him riding his dirt bike with pals, and enjoying the camaraderie of racing where there are no television cameras.
While he raced at Ducati, Dovi raced with a tiny picture of his daughter on the inside of the MotoGP’s dash. It was within his sight line when he was in full tuck and steaming the Ducati to 200 mph.
He will be well-suited to the life of a retired racer because he has never lost sight of what is truly important and real in this world.