After his retirement from MotoGP at the tender age of 33, it was unclear what Dani Pedrosa's next move would be. Now we know, because KTM just announced that Pedrosa will be suiting up as its Red Bull KTM MotoGP team's test development rider.
Pedrosa had a pretty great racing career with over 30 MotoGP wins, three world titles, and 110 MotoGP podium appearances. That's nothing to sneeze at. His experience should prove extremely beneficial for the four riders—Pol Espargo and Johann Zarco riding for the factory team and Miguel Olivera and Hafizh Syahrin on the Tech 3 team—who are riding for Team Orange next year.
"To have a rider of Dani’s skill and experience as part of our MotoGP project is another strong sign that we are moving in the right direction and we are still pushing as hard as we can," said KTM's Motorsports Director Pit Beirer in a recent press release. "We have seen how competitive MotoGP is this year and how fractions of a second can sometimes hide real progress and valuable lessons. We hope – and we are very excited – that Dani’s input alongside Mika Kallio and feeding into the two teams we’ll have on the grid next year will really help to close the gap even further. I think we can feel very optimistic about our possibilities for the upcoming seasons. I’d like to thank the whole crew at the factory, all the strong effort at the races and for all those testing miles as we come close to the end of our second year. Also to Dani: it is great that he believes and trusts in us and what we are doing.”
“I’m super-happy that we could reach this agreement with Dani," said KTM's MotoGP team manager Mike Leitner. "Thanks to all his years and success in MotoGP I believe he will help our project in a big way and in developing the bike. Dani is a three-time world champion and three-time runner-up in this category and I know him well from the time working together. He is still very competitive and this can only benefit our MotoGP effort.”
Keep your eyes peeled next MotoGP season to see the fruits of Pedrosa's labors and to see some of the world's fastest orange bikes battle it out with the Japanese racing crowd.