Thursday at Valencia saw Andrea Dovizioso speak to the media for the first time since announcing his decision not to sign any MotoGP test riding deals for 2021.

The Italian, a triple title runner-up for Ducati and one of six riders still in with a mathematical chance of this year's crown, explained that while several manufacturers were interested in offering a testing deal they could not combine it with a race seat for 2022.

"At the end, to be a test rider and not have a door open to race for 2022... that's why we decided not to sign," he said.

Instead, Dovizioso concluded that his chances of a full-time MotoGP return were greater if he remained 'free' for now.

"I didn't have a chance to race next year, this is clear," Dovizioso began. "Almost all the manufacturers signed their riders before the start of the season. So it was normal to be in this situation at the end of the season.

"So now I will consider 2022, if I have a chance to really fight for the championship. Because this is my goal, to be there in 2022 if there is a chance to be in a top team on a top bike.

"I know it's difficult if you don't race for one year. But in the end, this is the situation I am in. And next year it will be a different kind of year, I will enjoy some racing with my friends in motocross.

"I have an important sponsor behind me and they will follow me for next year, we will try to create something for the future, and I'm really happy about that. And we will be focused and working for 2022.

"Next year I will not race in the world championship of MotoGP, but I for sure will continue to train and do everything to be fit and enjoy the sport and the bike, so my situation is not done."

Despite having nothing in place for next season, rumours continue to suggest that Dovizioso will be first-in-line should Marc Marquez's problematic arm injury mean he is unable to compete in the opening rounds.

Dovizioso didn’t rule out such a possibility but thinks it's currently far too early to talk about Marquez missing races in 2021.

"I think everybody is running too far ahead. What is going on with Marc, I think nobody really knows the details, first. And also I don't," he said. "Second, I don't think they will take a decision now for next year. Third, I'm free. So we will see.

"This is motorsport. I'm free, doesn't mean I will go if they call me. I will think about it. So depends what they propose to me – I am speaking about everybody – and I will decide.

"For next year, the positive thing of our decision is we are free, and we will see. But to not see Marc in 2021, I think that is almost impossible."

Dovizioso, a former Repsol rider, confirmed Honda had been one of the factories he had already spoken to about a testing role. However, the lack of a firm agreement to return as a full-time rider in 2022 meant he opted to remain 'free'.

"About Honda, we discussed, already one month ago," he said. "For every proposal there was a different reason why it didn't happen. But in any case, I am really happy to feel the support and everybody tried to take me on board to be a test rider.

"But at the end, to be a test rider and not have a door open to race for 2022 - for me that was too important. So that's why we decided not to sign and be free. In motorsport everything can happen.

"We will see for 2021, but especially to work for 2022."

With most of the 2021 rider signings taking place while Dovizioso was still in doomed negotiations with Ducati, the only race seat still open for next year is at Aprilia.

But Dovizioso explained that, having seen first hand the time and effort it took for Ducati to return to the front of MotoGP, taking on the RS-GP project was "not the situation I need for my career at the moment".

"I was really happy to have the push of Aprilia to do that, and already we spoke in the past," Dovizioso said. "It wasn't really true that Aprilia were waiting for Iannone, this wasn't the truth, but this is normal.

"I think Aprilia are doing a really good job, because the budget they have is not big like Honda, Yamaha or Ducati. But the level of MotoGP is so high, and that is very very difficult.

"I already lived through this situation with Ducati at the beginning of our relationship. MotoGP is difficult. Only when you are on the inside of that can you understand all of those details and how tough it is.

"So they are doing a really great job, but in this moment it's not what I need, and the reason why I took that decision."