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Dovizioso set for Ducati seat?

Andrea Dovizioso is tipped to take the place of fellow Italian Valentino Rossi at the factory Ducati MotoGP team.

Andrea Dovizioso is tipped to take the place of fellow Italian Valentino Rossi at the factory Ducati MotoGP team next season.

It was officially confirmed on Friday that seven time MotoGP champion Rossi will return to Yamaha in 2013, having taken just two podiums from 27 starts on the Desmosedici.

According to the Italian media, including GPone.com and SportMediaset.it, Dovizioso has agreed a two-year deal to take over The Doctor's Ducati.

Dovi would ride alongside Nicky Hayden, who has already signed a new one-year contract extension.

Dovizioso replaced Hayden at the factory Honda team in 2009, where he went on to win one race and finish a best of third in last year's championship, but lost his Repsol seat when the team cut back from three to two riders.

The former 125c world champion thus switched to Tech 3 this year, where he has already scored four podiums - the most ever by a Tech 3 rider in a single season - and holds fourth place, as the leading satellite rider, in the world championship.

Dovizioso - who had never raced a Yamaha or 1000cc machine before this season - hoped such results would lead to a factory M1 ride for 2013, until Rossi's return was announced. Dovizioso's Tech 3 team-mate Cal Crutchlow had been strongly linked to a factory Ducati ride earlier in the year.

Once Hayden's team-mate is confirmed, it will mean that all six factory MotoGP seats for 2013 have been decided.

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