After retiring from MotoGP racing back in 2018, Dani Pedrosa will once again line up on the grid in the upcoming Grand Prix of Styria from 6-8 August 2021. Riding the KTM RC16 which he helped to develop into a race-winning MotoGP prototype, the 35-year-old will get to taste what it's like to race with the KTM RC16.
KTM entered the MotoGP premier class back in 2017, but it was a slow start to program. Pedrosa joined the factory squad as their official test rider in 2019, where his experience and background helped to push KTM's MotoGP project to new heights, and the wins from the likes of Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder (plus a number of podiums) are the results of this synergy.
For the Styrian GP, Pedrosa will be riding the latest KTM RC16 together with a bunch of new parts to test, but ultimately, the wildcard entry is basically one of his many rewards for helping KTM to achieve its goals in MotoGP. All their efforts have led to a bike that can keep up with the Ducati in terms of top speed as well as cornering prowess with Yamaha and Suzuki.
According to Pedrosa, "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. 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," added the Spaniard.
The Michelin Grand Prix of Styria will commence from 6-8 August 2021 at the Red Bull Ring, Austria. That's also when MotoGP resumes after the summer break, so it should be an interesting round to watch. If there's one thing that we would like to see, it's Dani Pedrosa winning KTM's home race. Let's go!