Reigning triple MotoGP title runner-up Andrea Dovizioso will end his eight-year Ducati career this season.

That was the bombshell news from Dovizioso's manager Simone Battistella to SkySport.it, following crunch talks with senior Ducati management in Austria on Saturday.

Yesterday, Ducati team manager Davide Tardozzi said Dovizioso's future would be decided after the two Austrian rounds.

But Dovizioso - who smiled when he saw the tweet about Tardozzi's comments, shown during the live FP2 TV broadcast - has now taken the future into his own hands, Battistella saying the decision not to continue was made by Dovizioso and has now been "communicated to Ducati".

"The conditions to continue together don't exist... It has been a reflection made over the last period. Andrea feels much more calm now that he has made this decision," Battistella added.

Dovizioso plans to remain in MotoGP, "even if there are [currently] no negotiations going on with other teams."

On paper, a 2021 contract extension between Dovizioso and Ducati initially seemed a formality, but as the months went by without an agreement the impasse became clear.

Although there have been some performance tensions between rider and team in recent years, money appeared to be the main sticking point, with rumours of Ducati offering Dovizioso a much lower salary than at present, with budgets being cut due to the coronavirus.

If Dovizioso - a 14-time premier-class race winner - wants to remain in MotoGP, his only factory team option would now be at Aprilia, which is awaiting the outcome of Andrea Iannone's appeal over a doping ban.

Meanwhile, Pramac's Francesco Bagnaia or even retired triple world champion Jorge Lorenzo would become the main contenders to ride alongside Jack Miller at Ducati in 2021. Dovizioso's current team-mate Danilo Petrucci is moving to Tech3 KTM next season.

 

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