It was at that same event last season that the Italian made his return to MotoGP, initially on a year-old Petronas Yamaha before switching to the latest factory-spec M1 for the revamped RNF team.

Dovizioso had fond memories of the Yamaha from a brilliant 2012 campaign at Tech3, while the current M1 leads the standings with reigning champion Fabio Quartararo.

But from his first laps, Dovizioso felt the current Yamaha possessed an unusually narrow window of grip, which only a Quartararo-type riding style could master.

Quartararo WILL NOT be on Silverstone podium! | Crash.Net Podcast 57

The end result is that, while Quartararo leads the standings with three race wins and 172 points, the next best Yamaha of team-mate Franco Morbidelli is just 19th on 25 points.

Dovizioso has just ten points, putting him equal with rookie Darryn Binder on the A-spec bike. Dovizioso’s friend, former team-mate and Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow will take over Dovi’s seat for the final six rounds, following Misano.

“First of all, I would like to thank Yamaha and the team and WithU because they give me a big support and they understood me,” Dovizioso said. “That has been very important for me.

“At the end, after 20 years, it’s always tough to take this kind of decision. But it's OK, I'm relaxed and it’s the right moment to take this decision.

“As a rider, when you are not able to be where you want, your mind starts thinking about these things [stopping].

“And with that I started thinking that Misano would be the right final race. To do my last home race and finish there with a party and a big smile from my friends and all the fans.”

Dovizioso: ‘Straight away I was a bit surprised about the grip’

“From the beginning when I jumped on the bike, and felt the base of the bike, straight away I was a bit surprised about the grip. I always said that and that I think was the biggest characteristic I really fought.

“My way to ride the Yamaha has not been the best way to use the potential of the bike, because Fabio has shown every race there is a possibility to be competitive and win the title with this bike.

“I worked a lot with the team. I worked a lot with Ramon [Forcada], with Yamaha and tried a lot of things, maybe even too much. But when we changed also big things it didn't affect a lot.

“So that was just a confirmation that the match between my riding style, my way to approach the track and the characteristic of Yamaha didn’t match in the best way.”

On paper, Dovizioso’s results suffered after the introduction of a revised Michelin rear tyre construction in 2020.

“The [tyre] change when I was in Ducati affect me in negative way for sure. But at the end I was fighting that year and I finished fourth, as the first Ducati. So also without a good feeling at the end the result was acceptable,” Dovizioso said.

“It's difficult to know exactly how much that [tyre construction] affected me, but I think it’s a mix of a lot of things.

“MotoGP is changing, but it's normal when we are speaking about the best class about motorcycle and the development is big. The effort from the manufacturer is big, the effort from the rider is big.

“So it's normal the development is really fast and a lot of things changed. Now in the way you have to race and ride the bike is quite different compared to five years ago for example.

“I don't speak about this in a negative way, just it's different.

“Now you win the race by [pure] speed,” Dovizioso added. “It’s difficult to see a lot of overtaking because now everybody is fast and you play more about the lap time than the strategy for the consumption of the tyre.

“If you are fast in practice and you already found the speed, more or less you can keep also this speed in the race. But this is just a consequence of developing the tyre. The tyres change. You can push a bit more than the past so you can be consistent and keep a similar pace until the end.

“That's why now in MotoGP there are less battles, there is also a lot of aerodynamics and that doesn’t help for the overtaking. So this is the change of the MotoGP, but I don't want to speak in a negative way, it’s just change and it's not the best for the battle. But it’s the way to race in MotoGP now.”

The future? ‘I don’t have anything on the table’

After two decades in the world championship, 103 podiums and 24 race wins, what comes next for Dovizioso?

“Now I don't have anything big on the table, because I didn’t try to find anything,” he said. “I think it’s normal after 20 years in one place that you need a bit of time to do some other things and live in a different way.

“I'm not anymore that young, but I still feel young enough to live and use my body in this moment. To race, for example, motocross and enjoy the last I don't know - some years! - in a good shape and enjoy that situation.

“I also have in my mind for a long time, more than 10 years, a dream to create something at home and still it’s not done, but I’m close and I’m really happy,” he revealed.

“But I'm not done about that so I don't want to speak about it yet, because it's a bit too early, but I’m really focused in one project and I think that would be really nice if I would be able to work on that and race with Motocross.

“I will keep for sure the door open about everything because I think I have a lot of experience in this [MotoGP] world. I already had some requests in the past already to do something here, but in this moment I feel I need a bit of time to do what I want at home and let's see.”

Dovizioso also didn’t exclude taking on some kind of rider representation role in MotoGP.

“I already hear something about that and I want to keep the door open… So let's see. Can be 50-50.”