Andrea Dovizioso: ‘I was close to Suzuki’

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Andrea Dovizioso says he came close to joining Suzuki for 2015 before agreeing a two-year contract extension with Ducati.

The Italian was believed to be a top target for Suzuki, who were keen to benefit from his speed and experience to help advance development of the Japanese factory’s new 1000cc machine when it returns from self-imposed exile next year.

The former 125GP world champion has admitted he was seriously tempted to move to Suzuki, but he was swayed to remain with Ducati by the promise of a total revamp to the Desmosedici machine for next season.

The 28-year-old told MCN: “I was close to Suzuki because I like the situation with them and they pushed a lot to take me. They offered me a lot because they believe in me and they know I have good experience with development having raced a lot of different bikes. It was a good feeling to move to them but I decided to stay with Ducati.”

But Dovizioso, who has scored two podium finishes at Ducati in 2014, said that he had not been willing to start from scratch with a new project like the Suzuki, which failed to sparkle when test rider Randy de Puniet tested the new bike against Honda, Yamaha and Ducati in Barcelona earlier in the summer.

He said: “It would be almost like starting from scratch and throwing away two years already invested in Ducati."

Suzuki finally confirmed its 2015 line-up at the Cologne Show in Germany earlier this week, with Spanish duo Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales signed to ride the new GSX-RR.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt