MotoGP star Dovizioso to make DTM debut with Audi

Ducati MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso will contest next month's Misano DTM round as a stand-in driver with Audi.

MotoGP star Dovizioso to make DTM debut with Audi

The 33-year-old will replace Pietro Fittipaldi in the Audi customer team WRT, as Fittipaldi has a clash with Haas Formula 1 reserve duties at the Canadian Grand Prix on the June 8-9 weekend.

Dovizioso is following the lead of two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom, two-time CART Indycar title winner and Paralympic hero Alex Zanardi and five-time World Rally king Sebastien Ogier, who made DTM guest starts in 2018 with Audi, BMW and Mercedes respectively.

It is not his first competitive action on four wheels – Dovizioso starred when he contested the 2016 Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Final at Valencia, taking a Pro-Am class win in one of the races.

“I love cars and I feel lucky to be able to race with the Audi RS 5 DTM,” said Dovizioso, who won MotoGP's San Marino Grand Prix at Misano in 2018.

“It’s tough to find the time to prepare for it during the MotoGP season but I am really looking forward to competing in such a high-level context as the DTM.

"The car is amazing, but it’s a different challenge compared with my Desmosedici GP and I need to get prepared, so I did many laps in the simulator before stepping into it for the first time. 

"Misano is a special track for every Italian driver and the place where I scored an incredible win last year so I'm very excited and thankful for this opportunity.”

Ducati is indirectly owned by Audi – it was bought in 2012 by Lamborghini, which is a subsidiary of the German manufacturer.

Dovizioso had an initial run in the RS5 DTM at Audi's Motorsport Competence Centre in Neuberg on Tuesday, and will have two days of testing at Misano before his debut race.

Audi motorsport chief Dieter Gass described Dovizioso as "a real superstar" addition to the line-up for Misano.

"MotoGP riders are true heroes in Italy," he said. "Andrea hails from the Misano area, won the motorcycle grand prix there last year and is going to attract many additional fans.

"We’re already extremely excited to see how he’s going to fare in his DTM debut. That he’s taking time out for the DTM between two MotoGP races is fantastic and not to be taken for granted at all.

"I’d like to particularly thank Ducati’s CEO Claudio Domenicali and Luigi Dall'Igna, general manager of Ducati Corse, who agreed to this guest entry.

"That’s a big thing for the DTM and for motorsport in general.”

The Misano DTM round takes place in the week between MotoGP's Mugello and Barcelona races.

Andrea Dovizioso, Audi RS 5 DTM
Andrea Dovizioso, Audi RS 5 DTM
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Photo by: Audi Communications Motorsport

Andrea Dovizioso, Audi RS 5 DTM
Andrea Dovizioso, Audi RS 5 DTM
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Photo by: Audi Communications Motorsport

Andrea Dovizioso, Audi RS 5 DTM
Andrea Dovizioso, Audi RS 5 DTM
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Photo by: Audi Communications Motorsport

Andrea Dovizioso, Audi RS 5 DTM
Andrea Dovizioso, Audi RS 5 DTM
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Photo by: Audi Communications Motorsport

Andrea Dovizioso, Audi RS 5 DTM
Andrea Dovizioso, Audi RS 5 DTM
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Photo by: Audi Communications Motorsport

Andrea Dovizioso, Audi RS 5 DTM
Andrea Dovizioso, Audi RS 5 DTM
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Photo by: Audi Communications Motorsport

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