Tech 3 Yamaha has completed its rider line-up for the 2012 MotoGP World Championship season after officially confirming Andrea Dovizioso alongside Cal Crutchlow.
An announcement regarding Dovizioso's switch from Repsol Honda to the satellite Yamaha team was thought to be forthcoming after the rider revealed his plans to the Italian media, but only now has it been made formal.
Dovizioso's switch to Yamaha comes after a lengthy tenure as a Honda rider, one that saw him pick up the 125cc title in 2004, finish runner-up at 250cc level in 2006 and 2007, before impressing on the way to fifth aboard the JiR Scot Honda during his first MotoGP season in 2008.
Since then, Dovizioso has been part of the factory Honda outfit, winning his first – and so far only – race at Donington Park in 2009, but with the manufacturer slimming down to two bikes for Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa next year, the Italian's future had been subject to speculation.
Apparently turning down a factory-specification 1000cc Honda under the LCR Honda banner, Dovizioso has instead opted for a change of direction and will instead ride a satellite Yamaha in 2012 with a view to being considered for a full factory ride in 2013.
"I'm happy to have reached this agreement with Tech 3 for next year and I want to thank Hervé Poncharal for the opportunity he is giving me,” he said. “I am excited to become part of Hervé's squad and to be teamed with Cal. I am sure this new challenge will be exciting, motivating and fun. Now that 2012 is sorted I want to focus on finishing the season in the best possible way."
Team manager Herve Poncharal was delighted to be welcoming Dovizioso to his team, branding him as one of the fastest riders' in the world.
“I am delighted that a rider of Andrea's stature has decided to commit his future to Tech 3 and Yamaha. He is without doubt one of the fastest riders in the world who has proven on a regular basis that he is capable of challenging for the podium in MotoGP.
“I am thrilled that he trusts the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team to take his career to the next level and we can look forward to 2012 with high expectations. I am convinced that with Andrea and Cal we have one of the strongest line-ups on the grid in 2012 and both of them will demonstrate the potential of Yamaha's new 1000cc machine.”
Dovizioso, currently third in the MotoGP standings, is believed to have turned his back on Honda after feeling as though compatriot and rival Marco SImoncelli, who is eighth overall, was given preferential treatment ahead of the 2012 season.