Andrea Dovizioso will continue at the official Ducati MotoGP team after signing a new contract for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

The news was announced on Saturday at World Ducati Week, in Misano, with Dovizioso joined on stage by Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali.

"I'm particularly happy to be able to announce right here in front of our fans the renewal of the contract with Andrea Dovizioso, who will remain a rider with the Ducati Team for the next two seasons," said Domenicali.

Dovizioso, a MotoGP race winner at Repsol Honda, spent a successful season at Tech 3 Yamaha before taking over the Ducati seat vacated by Valentino Rossi for 2013.

Eighth overall last season, Dovizioso took Ducati's first podium since Rossi's departure in Texas this year, then claimed second place in the wet-dry Assen race, putting him fourth in the world championship at the midway stage of 2014.

Dovizioso's performances had seen him on Suzuki's list for its 2015 return, but the Italian has been convinced to stay at Ducati for the redesigned GP15, the first full machine under the design leadership of Gigi Dall'Igna.

The first step towards the redesigned 2015 Ducati will be a more compact engine, due to debut at the post-season Valencia test.

Dovizioso's team-mate Cal Crutchlow must soon decide if he wishes to take up an option to remain with Ducati in 2015.

Should the Englishman move elsewhere, Suzuki or a satellite Honda being the most logical destinations, Pramac Ducati's Andrea Iannone is set to be promoted to take his place.

Recent rumours from Spain suggested that Aleix Espargaro is also in the frame for a factory Desmosedici ride, but that scenario seemed most likely if both Dovizioso and Crutchlow were to leave.

UPDATE: Several hours later, Crutchlow announced that he will stay at Ducati next season.

Other recent MotoGP rumours are linking race winning Moto2 rookie Maverick Vinales to Suzuki and Moto3 title leader Jack Miller to a satellite Honda.

Dovizioso joins Marc Marquez (Honda), Dani Pedrosa (Honda), Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Pol Espargaro (Tech 3/Yamaha) in having a Factory class contract in place for next season.



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