MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso will make a guest appearance in the DTM at the Misano World Circuit in June, joining the field in an Audi RS5 DTM for the third event of the season.
Italian Dovizioso will change from racing his Ducati Desmosedici GP motorcycle to a high-powered Class One DTM car for the event next month, following in the footsteps of successful bike-turned-car racers John Surtees, Mike Hailwood and Johnny Cecotto.
The 33-year-old is currently third in the 2019 MotoGP standings, just three points behind leader Marc Márquez. He is one of the most successful riders in recent years, having taken 13 Grand Prix victories and 53 podiums to-date.
“I love cars and I feel lucky to be able to race with the Audi RS 5 DTM,” said Dovizioso. “It’s tough to find the time to prepare for it during the MotoGP season but I am really looking forward to compete 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.”
Dovizioso finished as the runner up in MotoGP in 2017 and 2018. He has already gained some experience of Audi environment, having visited Audi’s Competence Center Motorsport in Neuburg an der Donau before the start of the season.
He will test the car at Misano prior to his début on May 22 / 23, before competing in anger during the June 7 – 9 event.
Dovizioso will replace Pietro Fittipaldi at WRT for the event, as the Brazilian has to skip Misano due to a calendar clash with the Formula One Grand Prix in Canada, where he acts as the reserve driver for the Haas team.
“I’m delighted that in Andrea Dovizioso we managed to get a real superstar to race as a guest in the DTM,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “MotoGP riders are true heroes in Italy.
“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 début.
“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.”
Perhaps the most famous bike rider turned car racer is Venezuelan Cecotto, who competed in the DTM between 1988 and 1992, initially with Mercedes before moving to BMW. Cecotto was active in touring car racing full-time until 1998, becoming one of the most successful tin-top drivers of his generation.