Spanish veteran rider Dani Pedrosa, who announced a few weeks back that he wouldn’t race anymore in MotoGP beyond this season, having been replaced at the factory Repsol Honda team by Jorge Lorenzo, will be joining the KTM factory test team to help the Austrian manufacturer to develop their RC16 prototype.
Honda, recognizing the experience Pedrosa has on their Grand Prix bikes, wanted to keep him as a test rider, but KTM Factory had an ace up their sleeves: Mike Leitner.
Mike Leitner is a former crew-chief for Pedrosa, and the Spanish rider felt that he still could work with Leitner, becoming an important piece inside the Austrian team. It’s also important to notice that Red Bull, Pedrosa’s personal sponsor, is also the main sponsor for KTM Factory team in MotoGP, and that was also a factor for Dani Pedrosa to accept KTM’s invitation.
Unlike other test riders like Michele Pirro (Ducati) or Bradley Smith (Aprilia) – who recently accepted the offer from the Italian team to become their new test rider for 2019 -, Dani Pedrosa won’t do any wildcard appearance on MotoGP races next season. Instead, he will only focus on developing the RC16 bike.