“This was my last race with my team, with whom I've been with for seven consecutive years. I still remember when running in the Italian Championship, being contacted by them to join the team. From tomorrow I will be an official Honda rider and this is the achievement of a dream, but there is also sorrow to leave a team that has always believed in me, that gave me the opportunity to contest the MotoGP championship,” admitted 'Dovi' at the end of the race.
The Italian started the race from 9th place but immediately got into 4th place after the first lap. With Valentino Rossi on his trails, Dovizioso managed to stay in front of the 5-time world champion for a few turns before losing his 4th position to Rossi. He then took on 'old rival from Malaysia' Nicky Hayden, whom he passed in the following laps and never let go of his 4th place until the finish line.
“Today in the race, I started well but after that I knew things would become difficult. I lost time overtaking both Nicky Hayden and James Toseland, but I was not able to stay with Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi,” said the JiR Scot rider after his maiden Valencia GP at the queen class.
When returning to the pits, his team put out a big banner saying “Closed for rider replacement. Look for next door!”. He was then congratulated by all the team members – with whom he spent his last 7 professional years – before finally making the move to Honda's works team. He will be replaced by Yuki Takahashi in next season's line-up.
“For next year I will have a motorcycle which I can develop and also I will have a new team with different working methods. I know I must still improve, I will have to understand how to steer the development of the motorcycle, and in the race I must be more consistent. There will be equality of tyres also, which will be good for me,” concluded the Italian.