Andrea Dovizioso will make a surprise appearance in DTM next month teaming up with Audi for the Misano round.

The Ducati rider will head straight from the Italian MotoGP round at Mugello to Misano with the German touring car championship competing at the San Marino track on June 8-9.

Dovizioso, who replaces Pietro Fittipaldi in the Audi WRT Team line-up due to his calendar clash with his Formula 1 reserve driver duties at Haas for the Canadian Grand Prix, will swap his Ducati Desmosedici GP19 MotoGP bike for an Audi RS 5 DTM machine at Misano for a one-off outing.

The two-time MotoGP runner-up enjoyed a debut test for Audi at its Neuburg track facility on Tuesday (May 7) and will get a second test at Misano on May 22-23 as his final preparation for the DTM round at the Italian track.

“I love cars and I feel lucky to be able to race with the Audi RS 5 DTM,” Dovizioso said. “It’s tough to find the time to prepare for it during the MotoGP season but I am really looking forward to compete in such a high-level context such as the DTM.

“The car is amazing, but it's a different challenge compared with my Desmosedici GP and I need to get prepared, so I did many laps in the simulator before stepping into it for the first time.

“Misano is a special track for every Italian driver and the place where I scored an incredible win last year so I'm very excited and thankful for this opportunity.”

Head of Audi motorsport Dieter Gass is naturally thrilled to welcome Dovizioso to his DTM fold and is thankful to Ducati bosses for permitting the Italian’s one-off outing.

“I’m delighted that in Andrea Dovizioso we managed to get a real superstar to race as a guest in the DTM,” Gass said. “MotoGP riders are true heroes in Italy.

“Andrea hails from the Misano area, won the Motorcycle Grand Prix there last year and is going to attract many additional fans.

“We’re already extremely excited to see how he’s going to fare in his DTM debut. That he’s taking time out for the DTM between two MotoGP races is fantastic and not to be taken for granted at all.

“I’d like to particularly thank Ducati’s CEO Claudio Domenicali and Luigi Dall'Igna, General Manager of Ducati Corse, who agreed to this guest entry. That’s a big thing for the DTM and for motorsport in general.”

Audi, parent company of Ducati, focuses its motorsport activities through DTM, Formula E, TCR and GT racing while its branding appeared on the Italian’s MotoGP bikes for 2019 to signal closer ties between the two companies.

Last year DTM welcomed three star guest drivers in World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier (Mercedes), 2016 World Rallycross champion Mattias Ekstrom (Audi) and former F1 driver and Paralympian Alex Zanardi (BMW).

It also marks the latest MotoGP star to try his hand at four-wheel motorsport following Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa’s Red Bull F1 test last year, while Valentino Rossi takes part in the Monza Rally each year.

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