Dani Pedrosa has become a staple in MotoGP for several years now. Although he has since retired from the spotlight of racing at the end of the 2018 season, he continues to work as an official test rider for KTM, dutifully testing, tweaking, and recommending updates to be performed on the racing machines. Pedrosa has quite an impressive racing track record under his belt, with a total of 31 race wins over a 13-year career with Honda.
Despite Pedrosa's retirement from racing nearly three years ago, KTM has confirmed that he will be participating in the upcoming Styrian GP as a wildcard for the Austrian manufacturer. He will be racing alongside KTM factory riders Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira, as well as the Tech3 KTM riders, Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecuona. To be held at the Red Bull Ring this coming August, Pedrosa will be piloting what KTM is referring to as "an adapted development version" of the KTM RC16 race bike.
As it would turn out, Pedrosa has had a major role in the development of the KTM RC16 race bike. Having been a part of the project from the beginning with KTM in MotoGP, Pedrosa clearly knows the ins and outs of this machine, and is keen to experience a different perspective aboard the bike in a racing scenario, as opposed to that of a normal test. Coming into the Styrian GP as a wildcard for KTM, Pedrosa has stated that his focus on the race will still center around testing the motorcycle in a race environment.
For the past three years, Dani Pedrosa has been behind the scenes of the action, glitz, and glamor of racing. So, naturally, stepping back onto the stage of the premier class of motorcycle racing poses quite the challenge for the retired racer. "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." Pedrosa stated in a story published by Motorsport.com.
Whether or not Pedrosa will go on to wildcard a second time in the Austrian GP the week after remains to be confirmed by KTM. However, both the Styrian GP and the Austrian GP will be held in the famed Red Bull Ring, formerly known as Österreichring, in the home country of KTM's factory racing initiatives.