It’s official. Andrea Dovizioso will return to the MotoGP grid with Petronas SRT at Misano, ahead of a full campaign for the reborn satellite Yamaha outfit in 2022.

Dovizioso - a triple title runner-up, who claimed his 15th and most recent win in Austria last year - stepped back from racing this season due a lack of competitive offers after splitting from Ducati.

Testing appearances for Aprilia seemed to offer a potential MotoGP return, but as that door closed due to the shock signing of Maverick Vinales, Dovizioso has sealed an M1 seat in the Yamaha reshuffle that followed.

Dovizioso, 35, is taking over from Franco Morbidelli, who has been promoted from Petronas to the factory Yamaha team in place of Vinales.

Dovi will not only finish this season alongside Valentino Rossi, but remain with the retitled SRT squad for 2022, when he will get the latest factory-spec M1.

“Racing with Yamaha has always been my dream, and that's why when the opportunity arrived I did not think twice, although I know it's going to be a tough challenge for me," said Dovizioso, who is contracted to the Yamaha factory.

"I've got many things ahead of me to learn: a new bike, a new team, a new working system. It‘s a big challenge that starts at Misano, my home GP. This makes it even more exciting. I can't wait to be aboard my M1!”

Dovizioso's previous experince of the Yamaha came back in 2012 at Tech3, when he took six podiums and finished fourth in the world championship. It would be the best ever season for a Tech3 rider with Yamaha machinery.

Previously a race winner at Repsol Honda, the Tech3 campaign propelled Dovizioso back to full factory status with Ducati the following year, where he remained until the end of 2020.

"Although I didn’t expect to be back in MotoGP like this, I never closed the door on it and it’s good to be here with Yamaha and Petronas Yamaha SRT," he added. "I wanted to try to enjoy a new situation and I’m really happy to be back. It will be interesting to be on a completely different bike to that I rode before and I’m looking forward to the experience.

"I visited the team in Aragon and it felt almost like it was 2012 [at Tech3] again and sitting on the Yamaha bike felt just as good. It was great to have a first sit on the bike and do the initial adjustments, so that we’re already one step ahead of FP1 here at Misano.

"I will need to get on track to understand the details and it would have been better to have had a test before jumping into a race, but I start with no pressure and it will be great to get going in Misano for the final five races of the season."

“We are delighted that a MotoGP star and talent like Andrea is joining the Yamaha line-up," said Yamaha Racing managing director Lin Jarvis. "We warmly welcome him to the Yamaha MotoGP group as a very important member of our MotoGP programme.

“We have found ourselves in unprecedented circumstances this year that resulted in totally unexpected rider issues for both Yamaha teams. We experienced some unforeseen and unfortunate events, but we have been able to transform the problems into new opportunities.

“Andrea has been away from MotoGP for a short sabbatical, but we are certain that a rider of his calibre will soon find his speed again. We are really looking forward to working with him as a member of Yamaha‘s satellite team, and we will be supporting him in every way we can.”

SRT team prinicpal Razlan Razali had previously spoken of wanting young riders next season to try and replicate the stunning Quartararo-Morbidelli success, but there were rumours Dovizioso's deal would be helped by Italian company WithU taking over from the departing Petronas as title sponsor.

However, recent reports suggest WithU title sponsorship is far from certain and the news that Dovizioso is contracted directly to Yamaha underlines that it was the Japanese factory's decision to hire the #4 and place him at their satellite team.

Such influence is not surprising given 'SRT' will be more reliant on Yamaha next year due to the loss of Petronas and Sepang backing, but the team may be allowed to sign Dovizioso's 2022 team-mate.

Petronas Moto3 rider Darryn Binder is thought to be favourite over Moto2 colleague Jake Dixon, who rode Morbidelli's bike at the last two rounds.