Dovizioso looking to maximise Argentina MotoGP, under pressure?

Andrea Dovizioso’s return to MotoGP with Yamaha enters a crucial stage after scoring just two points from two races; 'After the sad result in Indonesia, I really want to be back and do better'.
Andrea Dovizioso, Yamaha MotoGP
Andrea Dovizioso, Yamaha MotoGP
© Gold and Goose

Despite his Indonesian MotoGP retirement being a technical issue rather than a rider error, Dovizioso is quickly becoming a rider under intense pressure.

The three-time championship runner-up with Ducati has struggled for pace in both qualifying and race trim, whether that be the season-opener in Qatar or most recently Indonesia, which is certainly a surprise as the latter has always been a strength of the Italian’s. 

While reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo and factory Yamaha team-mate Franco Morbidelli were perhaps expected to outperform Dovizioso, at least at the beginning of the season, the 15-year MotoGP veteran has only just been ahead of team-mate Darryn Binder, who is not on the newest M1 package like Dovizioso. 

Speaking ahead of round three, the 36 year-old claims to be ‘optimistic’ of maximising the bike’s potential at a venue that’s seen him manage three podiums so far - only Marc Marquez has more of the current riders. 

Dovizioso said: "After the sad result in Indonesia, I really want to be back and do better. We had the ability to get out some good things in Indonesia, but eventually didn’t have the chance. 

Andrea Dovizioso, Indonesian MotoGP race, 20 March 2022
Andrea Dovizioso, Indonesian MotoGP race, 20 March 2022
© Gold and Goose

"The Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit is a pretty unique track, we didn’t go there for two years, so I’m curious how the conditions of the place will be. 

"Nonetheless, we arrive there optimistic. I think it can be a good track for Yamaha."

Is Dovizioso already under pressure to keep his seat after just two races?

With Dovizioso choosing to take a sabbatical year in 2021, a MotoGP grid with the Italian rider would not be a surprise going forward. 

And with WorldSBK champion Toprak Razgatlioglu still very much in the fold for a move to MotoGP with Yamaha, plus Darryn Binder’s impressive adaption to the premier class following a highly scrutinised switch from Moto3, Dovizioso’s results are likely to be just one of several factors. 

That’s not to mention other possibilities such as Raul Fernandez who remains a firm target for the Japanese manufacturer, despite being in just his first season with Tech 3 KTM. 

If Dovizioso is to remain with Yamaha beyond this season, then clinching top ten results is likely to be the minimum requirement, and a requirement that has to take place soon. 

On the other side of the RNF Yamaha garage, Binder clinched a superb maiden top ten MotoGP result in Indonesia. 

Darryn Binder, Indonesian MotoGP race, 20 March 2022
Darryn Binder, Indonesian MotoGP race, 20 March 2022
© Gold and Goose

The South African, who had a relatively slow start to pre-season testing, something that was very much expected given the challenges he was equipped with, has begun to show why the team invested in him.

Should Binder continue to mix it with the likes of factory riders and more importantly his fellow rookies, then a contract renewal with Yamaha will be increasingly likely.

Ahead of round three at the Termas De Rio Hondo Circuit, Binder added: "I’m really excited to get to Argentina. We haven’t been in Termas de Rio Hondo for a couple of years now. 

"The last time we were there; I’ve got some good memories. So, I can’t wait, especially after finishing 10th in Indonesia which left me really happy and motivated. 

"I’m ready to arrive there, start at zero again, just keep chipping away and trying to improve and get faster. I’m just really keen to get another race underway!"

In terms of where the two riders stand in the championship, Binder has moved up to P13 which is best of the five rookies, while Dovizioso is only 18th, last of all four Yamaha riders.

Read More