Dovizioso made his full-time MotoGP return with Yamaha towards the end of 2021 with Petronas SRT (before it was rebranded as RNF Racing for 2022) having lost his ride with Ducati at the end of 2020, upon which he elected to take a sabbatical.
But the 15-time race winner and three-time championship runner-up has found the going tough on his factory-backed Yamaha, scoring just three points in the first four races of 2022.
This has only compounded what has been so far a tough campaign for Yamaha, with reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo scoring just one podium and teammate Franco Morbidelli making it into the top 10 once.
Ahead of this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix, Dovizioso says Yamaha apologised to him after the Austin weekend but is pleased with the communication he has had with the marque regarding its struggles.
“As always, I don’t want to be here just to race, and to be in this position I don’t like it,” Dovizioso said. “So, I’m very disappointed about that because I really want to be in front.
“But you don’t have all the power to understand all the details before you join. I think Yamaha are in a bit of a difficult situation at this moment.
“Still there is a possibility to be strong because Fabio is showing in every race, because also when he is struggling he can arrive seventh but the gap to the first is not that big. So, for sure you can be fast with the Yamaha at this moment.
“But as they confirm when we do the meetings, they know very well at this moment Yamaha is struggling a little bit. I also did a meeting with Yamaha because I really always want to do a technical meeting with the project leader and it’s nice to work with them, because they are completely open to speak and they realize the reality.
“They say sorry to me when I was finishing 29s [from the winner] after a race in America. So that’s nice because they understand the situation and together we try to be better.”
Andrea Dovizioso, RNF MotoGP Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Dovizioso last rode a Yamaha in 2012 with the Tech 3 squad and says “the DNA” of the M1 hasn’t changed since then, but its problem areas have only increased and been further highlighted by the gains its rivals have made this year.
“In my opinion, the situation is this one: if I compare it to 2012, the DNA of the bike is very, very similar,” he added. “It didn’t change.
“The Yamaha now isn’t bad. I think it has the same positive things, really positive things, but the negative things are a bit bigger, plus the competitors worked a lot and they became a bit more competitive.
“That mix created this situation because even Fabio, who last year did a crazy championship, is struggling.”