Andrea Dovizioso To Move To Monster Tech 3 Yamaha For 2012

One of the larger pieces still remaining of the 2012 MotoGP puzzle has just dropped into place. According to reports from both Speedweek and, Andrea Dovizioso has signed a one-year deal to race with Herve Poncharal's Monster Tech 3 Yamaha for 2012, despite having an offer to ride a factory-spec Honda RC213V in Lucio Cecchinello's LCR Honda squad.

The move sees Dovizioso abandon Honda for the first time in his Grand Prix career. The Italian has ridden a Honda since his days in the 125cc class, moving up to 250s and then finally to MotoGP with the Japanese giant, winning the 2004 125cc World Championship for HRC. But Dovizioso had been falling out of grace with HRC in the past couple of years, with the Italian not making the transition to a regular winner aboard the Honda RC212V. His insistence on remaining inside the Repsol Honda team when the factory squad signed Casey Stoner alongside Dani Pedrosa put him even further out of favor, a situation that was underlined when Dovizioso's arch rival Marco Simoncelli was the first rider to be offered a factory contract and a factory RC213V for 2012. Despite the offer of a factory bike at LCR Honda, Dovizioso felt he had more options with Tech 3.

There is some merit in Dovizioso's thinking with regards to the switch to Yamaha. The competition for Honda seats is getting stronger every season: Casey Stoner is looking set to stay with the factory for the long term; Dani Pedrosa's position is still strong within HRC, despite the factory's discontent with the Spaniard's entourage; Marco Simoncelli still has the confidence of the factory, though another year of inconsistency may see him finally fall out of favor; and Marc Marquez looks set to move into the factory Repsol Honda team within a couple of years. Over at Yamaha, Jorge Lorenzo's position is looking solid, and though Ben Spies has shown good signs of progress - the Texan became the only rider besides the four so-called Aliens to win a dry race this season - he has not been as competitive as many had expected. If Dovizioso has an outstanding year aboard the Monster Tech 3 satellite Yamaha, it is possible the Italian could find his way into the factory squad.

This was also one reason Dovizioso only signed a one-year deal with the Tech 3 squad, the Italian told With the contracts of all of the factory Honda, Yamaha and Ducati riders up at the end of 2012, there could be some movement inside the factory teams. And with the switch to the new 1000cc formula next season, 2012 will probably start off with just minimal differences between the factory and the satellite bikes. At the Brno MotoGP tests, where the 2012 machines got their first outing, the Yamaha proved to be highly competitive with the Honda, making it look like a viable option.

Dovizioso's signing leaves a vacancy with LCR Honda, with the names of Alvaro Bautista and Randy de Puniet the most likely candidates to fill that position. Speedweek is reporting that a "renowned MotoGP rider" has an offer from LCR, and of Bautista and De Puniet, the Frenchman is probably the favorite to secure the ride.

More interestingly, Dovizioso's turning down a factory RC213V at LCR leaves the possibility that there is a spare factory Honda up for grabs. The only rider with both the potential and the backing to afford a factory Honda - the cost of which is rumored to be between 4 and 5 million euros - is current Moto2 championship leader Marc Marquez. The 18-year-old has strong backing from Repsol, and is widely regarded as being groomed to take Dani Pedrosa's place in the factory team at some point in the future. Though Marquez has remained coy on whether he will stay in Moto2 for 2012 or move up to MotoGP, there are more and more signs that the Spaniard will make the transition to the premier class. Marquez has little left to prove in Moto2, and the sooner he gets aboard a MotoGP machine, the quicker he will learn.

With Dovizioso taking the second seat at Tech 3, Eugene Laverty's chances of switching to MotoGP would appear to have disappeared. Despite his impressive debut in the World Superbike class this season, Herve Poncharal had expressed a preference for Dovizioso on several times when he spoke to on the issue. With Cal Crutchlow on one side of the garage, still learning his way around a MotoGP machine, having a solid and proven performer on the other Tech 3 machine made more sense than taking another risk on a rookie from WSBK.

Back to top


I'd like to see Hopper get on a competitive bike and an LCR factory Honda would be perfect. I always felt that Hopper was riding inferior machinery over the limit to try and produce results. Maybe this way he could get on a bike that he could ride at the limit with the thought of sending the bike into the gravel trap.

As for Dovi, I think this is a good move for him and again it seems to be the same old routine from Honda...

Barbera is most unlikely to leave his home at Mapfre Aspar.

Bautista wants to stay at Suzuki and Paul Denning is unlikley to replace Bautista unless he chooses to leave. If Suzuki field a 2nd bike, Hopkins is the most likely candidate.

LCR have regretted losing De Puniet ever since Tony the Tiger threw a leg over their bike, and De Puniet has regretted leaving LCR ever since he threw a leg over the Pramac Ducati.

Apart from switching bikes, this means that Dovi has also switched camps from Red Bull to Monster, just as Eugene Laverty had to when he joined Yamaha in WSBK. Will be interesting to see if Dovi still gets around in Red Bull garb for the rest of the season and I wonder if Monster had to throw even more money at Herve to secure Dovizioso.

Dani Pedrosa's position is still strong within HRC, despite the factory's discontent with the Spaniard's entourage

Why not just say Puig? Is there someone else?

I think this is a good move by dovi and i hope he will be competitive in tech 3. In LCR i would like to see bautista riding a factory honda because he is fast and can push the bike to the limit. I would like to see hopper in Ducati someday. I very exciting 2012 season next year.

Wow! I thought for sure he would go for the factory Honda. From over here this looks like the right thing to do. But 'the right thing' can be a murky, complicated thing eh? I am curious how much this is 'personal' and emotional, vs calculated and informed. So many factors up in the air w the switch to 1000's. Great article, thanks for the big news!

............ to read comments here (and on the net) that people think Tiger Toni should stay with the LCR.

The sad truth is ( and it is sad as I like TE24 ) whilst the Blue Ribbon Class is using the tyres it does, Toni will never be a race winner again, nor even ever get on the podium.

I was talking David a couple of weeks back, saying how good the Moto2 class is and that the way the bikes work, suit a smaller lighter rider like Toni, MM93 etc..... and that I'm sure if Toni wanted to he could get a ride back with 99% of the current Moto2 team and start winning again. He could get 101 different Spanish sponsors and challenge for the world title again.


with Dorna wanting to use Moto2 as a stepping stone to the GP class, he might not be welcomed back into the paddock. This a great shame.
When I read that TE24 is testing a superbike .... that's madness. He is a current GP class World Champ. Not a superbike rider. Not yet.


As for Dovi moving to Tech, great move. He will have to loose his Red Bull personal sponsor, but I'm sure Monster have the cash to put some claws on his helmet.

Dovi is a nice guy, but I sometime wish he was NOT so much a nice guy and become a real fighter on the track. He has the pace, but sometimes I wonder if he is still hungry to win.

Good luck to him, good luck to Herve, good luck to Tech 3.

No doubt his thinking has its roots in what David pointed out. That is there will probably be not much to pick between a factory spec 1000 Yamaha and a sattelite spec 1000 Yamaha in 2012. It is quite possible that assuming HRC offered him a factory Honda for 2012 outside of Repsol that he may have used it as leverage for Poncharal to twist Yamaha's arm into providing him with the full blown M1 1000 for 2012. Much like Simonchelli has had this year within Gresini.
Lorenzo and Spies currently contracted to the end of 2012 opens a door of opportunity for Dovi come 2013.
However,it will be driven not only by consistency and results factors,he's going to have to start winning big time in order to dislodge Spies from the factory team. Gambling he is,but a well calculated spread of the chips. Dovi has always impressed me as a very good and very hard front end rider. The Yamaha arguably still rules that area on track. The combination of one of the best front end riders in the game coupled to the best front end in the business may just see him elevated from good old Dovi to real threat to everyone.
I wish him well with the venture. It won't be the first time an Italian had a fall out with HRC, joined Yamaha and rubbed HRC's noses in it. Back then it was a high profile event. Poncharal with one factory Yamaha and Gresini with one factory Honda for 2012, I hope. Let the old 250 battles between Dovi and Marco resume.

but this is an admission by Doviziosi that he is not as good as his teammates on a RCV. Three years in the factory team and only one win in fickle conditions speaks volumes.

We really do not know which machine would be the better one 2012 so he's probably doing the right thing in trying to forge a new relationship with a new manufacturer and look for an edge, since there's no other way but down at Honda for him, especially given the souring of their relationship over the past 12 months.

Unless he really gels with the M1 it is still hard to see him working his way back to a factory squad though. A lot depends on Spies' performance 2012 also. Spies who in equal measures has had a lot of back luck this year and under performed (measured against my expectations at least).

I now understand Tech3 will have 1 litre machines 2012. Will any team be running 800's 2012?

Well said. And this wisdom of the move followed a great frustration and disappointment with HRC...Dovi must genuinly believe though that he is well deserving of that ride over Marco, wouldn't one think? Very good guy that Dovi, but very human as well. Honda believing they hold all the cards can lead to another David and Goliath story I will LOVE to see play out. And I know I will be rooting for Yamaha even w as much admiration as I have for Stoner. This stuff is great!

Nothing confirmed iri,but rejecting a factory Honda in favour of 2nd tier Yamaha doesn't make any sense, so factory Yamaha is my guess in other colours.
Have to agree with you Nostro. No room left at the HRC inn,given Casey,Dani present and Marquez looming on the horizon.

I think we have to wait for the 1000's before we can really judge Spies. Plus, his win at Assen was no fluke. He rode a dominant dry race, to the point that even Stoner said he was uncatchable that day. I think when the formula switch's to a bike with more torque and more power we should see him come full circle.

Manufactures like Ducati are hedging their bets on a middle ground between an 800 and a 1000. Rumors point to a 930cc duc. I believe anyone who thinks huge corner speed will be part of the way to win will be in for a real shock.

To quote Mladin: "corner speed is overated. When I come past you on the brakes stop in the middle of the corner then get it turned, then fire it out what are you gonna do with your corner speed mate?!?"

Dovi to Tech3 is a great move. He's under appriciated at Honda.

Is not overrated at all. It's what separates the great riders from the good. There's a reason why Spies hasn't been as fast as we probably thought he would've been. Lorenzo is much faster for a very good reason.

Let's not forget that next year's bikes will still only be limited to 21 litres of fuel, so they won't be able to use anywhere near their full grunt throughout a race like they would in qualifying (the reason why none of the factories will use the full 999cc available to them; the bikes are too thirsty).

But the most important reason why corner speed will still be the king is of course the tires. The Bridgestones NEED energy to be put into the front tire for them to work as they should.

That interesting that you say none of the factories will be using the full 999cc's they're allowed. I haven't seen any confirmation of the final engine sizes of any teams next year(I could be wrong) but with electronics being able to adjust the fuel consumption of a 999cc to whatever the need is but still have the ability to use the full grunt of the 999cc when fuel isn't a issue I think you're wrong.

He said not the full 1000, and assuming by that he means 999 (as they are in four-cylinder superbikes) then no.

If I had to guess I'd say it'll be 970cc. Just a guess of course, but I'm sure it'll be more than Ducati which will probably be 930cc.

Logic would dictate that you would make the biggest engine you can and if you use electronics to limit the fuel then you do that when needed. You're just guessing at engine sizes but it's pretty safe to assume that Ducati, Yamaha, and Suzuki don't want to line up at the first race knowing they're down on power from Honda. If Honda goes with a 999cc engine you better believe the other manufacturers will at least want to match it because they know going with for instance a 930cc engine in a Ducati isn't gonna win them the championship and hoping that Honda run out fuel every other race isn't gonna win them the championship. As of now it sounds like Suzuki may start the year on the current machines but it also sounds like they're working on a 1000cc.

Electronics are not the answer. Look at Simoncelli who has to ride with a much less rideable engine map because he'd simply run out of fuel due to the engine having to work harder to haul his weight around.

You're ignoring the differences between the factories. Honda and Suzuki are on the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to fuel consumption; the former being the best, the latter the worst. If Suzuki were going to make a new bike based around the 1000 rules, I'd doubt they'd be able to have an engine as big as the Honda for that very reason.

It's not speculation, rather it's very likely that Ducati will not use the full displacement available to them. Preziosi himself stated that they will very likely not use the full 999cc, they'll probably have a bike between 900-930.

You're ignoring the fact that the teams still have to use the same sized fuel tanks as they do now.

Of course I'm gonna ignore that because for any other factory to acknowledge that their electronics are not good enough to run the same size engine as Honda is stupid. For other teams to run smaller engines and be down on power and torque from the get go is like them lining up on the grid with only one wheel on. The factories can develop the electronics and other parts within the 1000cc engine to make it work and bring them closer to Honda if indeed Honda is running the best and with the biggest engine. They don't have the resources to work the electronics and develop different size engines every year until they finally get to 1000cc. There is a path that they will take to develop this next generation of bikes and I don't think you're thinking about it very clearly.

The last generation of of 1000cc bikes in 2006 were limited to 22 liters. This new generation with current electronics technology will likely make the difference in power of being now limited to 21 very small. The 1000's in 2006 were not running out of fuel and factories weren't resorting to running smaller engines in fear of it. What is to make you think that with such a small difference in fuel that the factories would resort to something so drastic?

It's not that simple.
Assume there was no displacement limit - how big an engine should they build? By your logic, a 2 liter monster would be perfect! 500++HP would GUARANTEE a rider the lead for the first few laps.... until the tires explode and the tank runs dry. Optimal displacement will be a careful compromise between a LARGE number of requirements. Peak HP is only one such consideration.

Consider the chassis limitations; running at kart rings like LeMans and Glotegi, the current bikes are already wheelie-limited for a large fraction of each straight; more power will not improve lap times significantly. And then there's the 81mm bore restriction. A large displacement, long stroke engine will not be able to make as much power per cc as a smaller, short-stroke layout. Higher piston speeds will increase drag (reducing MPG) as well as wear and stress - something you don't want with the 6 engine limit. What about the 'control' tires? They can only absorb so much power before bad things start to happen. As for the 21L limit, keep in mind that Sasquatch and other larger riders are already suffering reduced performance. Increasing the displacement 25% will not help at all. Yes, I'm sure the engineers will be able to lean out the mix another few % and guarantee folks reach the finish line, but how much rideability will they need to sacrifice in the process? Given that the bikes must be ridden like overgrown 250s, a smooth 950cc is always going to be faster than a peaky 1000.

In summary, there are so many artificial ('spec' usually = stupid) limits on the formula that maxing out one variable, such as peak HP, will not necessarily do much for a bike's overall race times.

but generally, you don't get more efficiency by doing things faster. So you have a choice between using more revs and shorter stroke, or fewer revs and longer stroke, to get the same power. I'd guess the second option uses less fuel, since there is more time to achieve good mixing, more time for the flame front to spread, and a slightly fatter combustion chamber (for the same CR) for it to spread in.

So, bigger capacity, same power and lower fuel consumption, or equivalently bigger capacity, more power and same consumption...

Spinning the crank at 18000+rpm induces a lot of frictional losses that will be freed up in a lower revving 900cc-ish engine. It will also greatly assist in improving engine life which may allow them in exchange to hit some high peak Hp numbers for good straight line performance.


I'll just be glad to see the riders put on a few kilo's with the return of 1000cc bikes. I was looking at podium photos from 4-5 years ago and most of the racers look emaciated and quite sick now in comparison to those older photos.

As far as Dovi and the Redbull sponsorship...someone else said
" a sponsorship deal isn't much good if you're sitting at home." Not that I think Dovi wouldn't get a ride, but to get a ride that he wants is important, more important than his Redbull money for a single season.

He gets a factory bike from tech3.

Giving up on honda instead of taking a factory bike from LCR? I am guessing next year Dani will also be looking for a ride as Marquez is coming up. Rossi, Spies etc will all be back on the market. We;ll have to wait and see (I have been wrong more than right).

It will be interesting to watch. My money is that he will get the factory bike from Tech3.

hello all could resist such juicy debateso here's my two pennies worth, my view is bad move by dovi unless he wasn't going to get factory support these top level teams usualy gets it right twice in a row think of red bull from 2009 to today quick even with rule tweaks, so i think he should take his factory honda like sic and show his class if there's more speed in him that point alot of people keep comparing marquez and danny but i don't see honda drop danny just yet they tend to feel the owe danny a championship so i think he's on that factory bike for at least another 2 years and lets face it he develop current bike that all the honda riders are quick on.

well, if he stays with honda, he gets a factory spec bike for next year, thats all. its an annual contract. and new mechanics etc, so will be difficult. honda just need a reason to fire him. moreover, he has absolutely no opportunity in the factory squad. you need more money, you get more updates and more recognition when ur running in the factory squad.. casey will be there for sometime, dani is there and marque is on his way. so no place for Dovi anymore.

if he performs very well, he can atleast have a shot at Yamaha factory. but if he misses it next year, he might end up in the suzuki camp, or one of the CRTs. if thats the case he might be close to the end of his run in motogp. he might as well jump over to SBK. all speculations... lets see what happens at valencia.. :)

It's gonna be interesting to see how well dovi goes compared to simoncelli next year, I cant see the status quo changing too much to be honest.
and i think dovi has done the right thing going to yamaha, at least there he might have a chance of getting into the factory squad again, he'd never get back to the top tier factory bikes with honda.

the true battles will commence in 2012 for the arch-rivals. With 2 separate brands, HRC won't have any input to them swapping paint on the track to see who is the best! Herve... is a very smart man and he got the rider he truly wanted just as Dovi got the compensation(s) he wanted in order to sign. But gambling on 2013 factory rides may be a far stretch for Dovi to be plotting on so early especially on Spies' Yamaha seat. All the factory riders will be able to switch seats in 2013 in the game of musical chairs. He may want to plot on Ducati instead. Yamaha still has faith in Ben's abilities... being the only rider to win a DRY race other than the 4 aliens in some time. Ben understands his position in regards to his results this season. He places more pressure on himself than anyone else. He's lacking the consistency with: set-up, race starts, and his health! Crap luck has made him carve through the field on more than one occasion this year. There's more to come from Spies who will be in the mix of battles that Dovi will have with Super-Sic.

@Screamer: The energy, as you put it, to get the front Bridgestone tire working is not generated by corner speed but rather by deep and heavy braking. One of the reason Casey has been able to be so dominant this year is he really loads the front under braking. His faith in it allows him that extra percent of corner entry speed. A tenth here, a tenth there, and you've got a nice gap every lap. It's been asked by other riders where they think Stoner holds an advantage and most all say it's his ability to enter a corner so much faster than them.

For 99% of situations the fastest way through a corner is to get it in as fast as possible, then get it fired out as best as possible. It's not to roll through a corner as fast as possible. Corner speed is a very usefull tool, but when talking about bikes with so much power it becomes less relevant...

Herve has also said that if anyone would build an engine with anything less than the allowed 1000cc's then they would be kidding themselves. He believed that if not at the start, then by the middle of the season everyone would be running the full allowed capacity.

Make as much power as possible, then tailor it to conditions via electronics. That's the basic thinking of all the manufactures. Why would you handicap yourself from the start?

I don't disagree with you at all on corner entry, I actually very much agree with you, after all, it is one part of the issue of overall corner speed (and the most fundamental) that is so essential to getting the Bridgestones to work. However my original comment was in response to the belief that overall corner speed will not matter next year. Of course it will, maybe not as important as it is now, but it will still be the must-have thing that separates the aliens from the rest.

I disagree. Entry, apex and exit speed are all important. Of course the importance of each varies from corner to corner, curcuit to curuit. Remember how Pedrosa did in his first MotoGP? Of course that was on a 990, despite this it was his apex speed that nearly won him the race while beating Nicky Hayden in the process who was probably one of the better examples of the riding style you illustrated.

If that is true then it makes you wonder why Preziosi would hint that using the full capacity would not be the best choice. Then again, his comments are over a year old.

Dovisioso's is among the few who has consistently gotten top five results in his MotoGP career. He has the talent, this is proven. He is perhaps more conservative than others, but I think he is trying to be safe while riding the smoothest and most flawless way he knows. A bit more aggressiveness and he could be challenging for the lead.

It is unfair to dismiss Dovi as an also-ran. He is not a consistent winner, but he is by no means a loser. It is also an incredible shame the way he has had to fight to keep his factory Honda ride—Honda lost my respect with the way they played with his contract.

My hope is that Dovi takes well to the Yamaha and obliterates his former teammates.

Maybe he'll gel with the Yamaha in a way he never could with the Honda. A stretch but you never know. He's always been really close to that last step of winning.

Dovi has had the best possible opportunity (works Honda rider for three years) and has fallen short. He simply isn't quick enough to match the aliens. He has generally not been able to match Lorenzo this year, despite being on probably the best bike. He is not at all underrated, the stats tell a different story. A rider has to be a consistent winner in this business to get the best rides. Finishing top five might be ok for a number two rider ( or in this case number three), but when new talent like Marquez makes an appearance any number two's position is in jeopardy. It's a competition on the world stage, and it's about winning, not sentimentality. Harsh maybe, but true.

Stoner ought to have a bigger points lead this year, but he hasn't because guys like Dovi and Simoncelli have performed poorly, and have not been able to consistently finish ahead of Lorenzo. Honda is surely not pleased with that. Simoncelli gets another chance because he has possibly more potential than Dovi, and in any case he hasn't been a works rider for three years.

Smart move for Dovi. I'm sure Sic getting the RCV213 nod first might rankle him but the move is probably not just sour grapes. I'm also sure that maybe privately the words "fawk Honda" might have been uttered at that but I imagine he and his managers thought it through better than that. Forcing that Repsol clause in his contract for this year probably already sealed his fate unless he seriously was winning this year. Honda have an embarrassment of riches at the moment. 2 of the 3 currently competitive aliens, a very popular, fast, and marketable albeit inconsistent possible alien to be in Sic and an heir apparent in Marquez hotfooting it towards MotoGP. What's a girl to do with so many suitors? Let the least promising one go. Big Dovi fan. He really is great and riding the kind of season that won Hayden a championship. Unfortunately only one major player is having troubles and many more are at a level where consistency just doesn't cut it. Stoner outlined it perfecty in that consistency is just not enough anymore, you have to pile on the wins. Anyway Dovi made the best move he could in his position. He was probably going to be wedged out of Honda after next year anyway barring spectacular 2012 results. Better to quit than get fired. The Yamaha 1000 looks promising will at least start out on parity with factory and Tech 3 is not that far away in updates from the factory as some other brands. In all cases Dovi really has to deliver next year no matter what bike he's on. If he can find that extra edge everyone comments on then he may enter 2013 with a new lease on life. If he only shows great competence I fear for him what was said before; the slip down towards inferior machinery then out of GP.

Honda chose to develop their bike around pedrosa, even though Hayden was world champ. Dovi is not going to be allowed to compete, even if given a Honda. His style is suited to yamaha, and he'll do better than the current tech three group.

Let's hope. He's a really underrated rider and maybe Yamaha gives him something extra. I like the guy a lot.