Dovizioso: I almost quit Ducati

Andrea Dovizioso seriously considered leaving Ducati before signing a contract extension, he has revealed.

Ducati announced on Friday that 2017 season MotoGP runner-up Dovizioso had signed on for two more years, ending speculation over his future.

Dovizioso, currently fourth in the standings, won six races last season and took the title race down to the final round of the season, a performance that pressured Ducati into offering him an improved deal.

After rejecting Ducati’s first offer, Dovi held talks with rival Honda and Suzuki before finally putting pen to paper on a new deal with the Italian manufacturer at Le Mans.

Asked if he had seriously considered exiting Ducati, the 32 old simply replied: “Yes.”

“Every rider has to be really egoistic in the way you think, to be fast. I don’t think you have to look at that in a bad way, because we speak about racing.

“So it’s normal to think about being in a different team, to try and understand if it’s a good thing or not.

“I was open [to leaving Ducati] because when you are speaking about contracts, you have to have an open mind.”

With Dovizioso’s signature secured, attention now turns to who will be his partner for the next two years.

Jorge Lorenzo’s future is still in doubt with a move to Suzuki an option, while Danilo Petrucci and Jack MIller are being talked about as potential replacements for the Spaniard.

Asked about who would be his teammate next year, Dovizioso remained non committal.

“I’m not too involved about that,” he said. “I explained to the team what I think is good, but they will take a decision and I don’t think it’s too important for me.”

“I’m not the kind of rider who decides the second rider. I explained to Ducati what I think for me is good, and what for Ducati is good. But at the end, it’s not my decision. I am focussed on me.”