Dani Pedrosa returns to competitive MotoGP racing as a wildcard for KTM in the upcoming Styrian GP at the team’s home event.
Having last raced in MotoGP in 2018 with Honda, Pedrosa will make his competitive return as a wildcard runner abode the KTM RC16, during Styrian GP at Red Bull Ring on August 6-8 weekend. He is likely to compete in both the races at Austria.
Ever since Pedrosa joined KTM, the Austrian manufacturer has had some solid outings, even though multiple riders have left the team. Both their current MotoGP riders, Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder, already have wins against their name.
In 2021, KTM sits fifth in the teams’ standings with 145 points, while they are the third best constructors – ahead of Suzuki, Honda and Aprilia. After couple of years working behind the scenes in tests, Pedrosa finally gets a competitive outing abode KTM RC16.
“It’s been super-interesting to be part of this project from the beginning with KTM in MotoGP and being able to share my experience with them,” said Pedrosa. “Step-by-step we did the best we could and now it’s interesting again to go into a race because it gives you a different perspective compared to a normal test. It has been a long time since my last race and, of course, the mentality for a GP is very different to a test.
“My focus for the GP is to try to test the things we have on the bike in a race situation. I wish to understand the requests riders might have for different sessions and technical features. Watching from home I can sense the improvements in the bikes and the racing but in order to understand more about MotoGP now, the new technologies and how to race and use strategies against the others we’ll make this wildcard.
“It’s difficult to talk about my expectations after being so long away from competition. It might all click into a racing mentality or it might not but we’ll try to enjoy the weekend as much as we can,” summed up Pedrosa, as KTM Race Manager, Mike Leitner, added:
“It will be curious to see Dani Pedrosa in MotoGP again. He has been away from racing for quite a long time but it will be valuable to have him in garage at Red Bull Ring to analyze the strong and not-so-strong parts of our KTM RC16 package in GP conditions and it will give him a good indication for his testing work.
“Dani has had a big influence in our MotoGP project thanks to all of his experience. The company was working and pushing hard to follow his requests, along with Mika’s [Kallio]. Dani was a good reference as he retired at the end of 2018 while still at the top of the sport and we can see some of his influence in the current success of the KTM RC16.
“He will have a mixture of the current race bike and some small upgrades and he will have some testing to do during the weekend but we also don’t want to overload him. We want him to enjoy the Grand Prix! There are a lot of young, strong riders in MotoGP at the moment, so he will be busy but this is a good way for him to learn more and feel the current benchmark in the sport and this will help us for future testing.”
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