A three-time MotoGP™ runner-up, Italian Andrea Dovizioso has emerged as a genuine title contender for Ducati.
Andrea Dovizioso was introduced to bike racing as a small child when he accompanied his father to motocross races in his hometown of Forlimpopoli in north-east Italy. He began riding at four when he was given a minibike and started racing at seven.
In 1997 and 1998 he won a national minibike title; in 2000 he won the Italian Aprilia Challenge in his debut year, and the European title the following year. A wildcard meant competing in his first grand prix in 2001 at Mugello, Italy. Andrea joined the Scot Honda team in 2002 and in 2004 he won the world championship in the 125cc class after battling his way to five victories plus a further six podium finishes.
After that Andrea spent three years racing in the 250cc class, where he finished with a third and two second-place finishes in the overall standings just behind riders like Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo. In the three seasons between 2005 and 2007, Andrea registered a total of four victories and 22 podium finishes, which earned him a promotion to the factory Honda team in MotoGP™.
His step up to MotoGP™ in 2008 took place on the Honda of JiR Team Scot, where Andrea was asked to swap his number 34 (chosen in honour of his idol Kevin Schwantz) for number four, which he still uses today. Andrea was the surprise package in his first season in MotoGP™ because he finished in fifth place in the overall standings and achieved his first podium finish at the Malaysian GP.
In 2009 he moved to the official HRC team, where he partnered with Pedrosa and raced to his first victory at the British Grand Prix on his way to finishing the season in sixth place overall. The following year he scored six podium places to help him to fifth in the overall standings and a year after that he finished third overall thanks to seven appearances on the podium.
In 2012 Andrea joined the Tech3 Yamaha team and ended the season in a respectable fourth place. But another switch to Ducati the following year saw him suffer a setback due to his bike underperforming which left him in eight place overall at the end of the season and with no podium places to his name.
The tide slowly began to turn and in 2015 Andrea registered five podium finishes in Qatar, Texas, Argentina, Le Mans and Silverstone. He started the 2016 season strongly, but a serieus of crashes and mechanical failures turned a promising season into one of disappointment at the end of which he finished fifth overall.
But Andrea partnered with Lorenzo in 2017 and hit peak form to bag six victories and two podium places in a season which saw him fight tooth and nail for the championship only to be pipped in the final race of the season by Marc Márquez. That second-place finish saw Andrea consolidate his position as one of the world’s best riders, though, and he continued his rich vein of form into the 2018 season and secured a second-place finish in the overall standings.
The 2019 season saw Andrea score nine podium places and two wins on his way to another second-place overall in the MotoGP™ World Championship, his third runner-up finish in a row, and now his focus is full on going one better and claiming the coveted No.1 plate.