Why KTM must be careful with Dani Pedrosa as test rider in 2019

KTM seemed to have pulled off a coup by signing Dani Pedrosa as a MotoGP test rider for next season, but it must be careful how it uses his feedback

Why KTM must be careful with Dani Pedrosa as test rider in 2019
In association with

After a weekend in Australia marked by the milestone victory of Maverick Vinales, Johann Zarco's huge crash and Cal Crutchlow's season-ending injury, confirmation of Pedrosa becoming a KTM test rider went under the radar.

Hiring Pedrosa is a superb move on the part of the Austrian factory, which can now count on one of the most experienced and fastest guys on the current MotoGP grid.

The Spanish veteran has been the only rider able to achieve at least one victory every season for the last 12 years, although on current evidence that streak looks like it could come to an end in 2018.

Pedrosa announced his retirement back at July's Sachsenring round, despite having the option to continue his top-line career on a works-supported third Yamaha at the Petronas-backed SIC team.

But as a KTM test rider, he will still get to enjoy his passion - riding motorcycles - but without the stress that comes with racing for a full season.

"My life is going to change, because I will ride a bike without that pressure, so the adrenaline rush will also decrease," admitted Pedrosa at Phillip Island.

No doubt, KTM is delighted with its new signing, especially as the Japanese factories have all now established their own European test teams (Yamaha was last to smell the coffee and will appear at Valencia with new tester Jonas Folger), and the RC16 project seems to need a clear direction to follow.

However, the Mattighoffen factory must be careful and ensure it takes into consideration 'the Pedrosa factor' when it works how to translate his feedback into creating the best bikes for its race riders.

Pedrosa that is the shortest rider on the grid (157cm, or 5'2'') and the lightest (50 kilos, or 7st12lbs) and probably the most technical-minded rider on the grid.

The last of these traits has defined him since he made his debut in MotoGP all the way back in 2006, and has always had a direct impact on the kind of bikes he prefers.

Because of that, Pedrosa must change his mindset - but according to some of those close to him, it won't be that easy.

"Dani is a fantastic rider, he's won many MotoGP races [31], but he is special, he is not neutral on his riding," said Cal Crutchlow at the time Honda made it clear it wanted to keep Pedrosa as a test rider.

"He is very smooth with the gas and with the brakes, and that makes him completely different to the others. That is why I think he is not the right choice to be a test rider [for Honda]."

shares
comments
MotoGP Malaysia: Lorenzo delays decision to withdraw from event

Previous article

MotoGP Malaysia: Lorenzo delays decision to withdraw from event

Next article

Rossi: Height makes MotoGP tyres more difficult compared to Vinales

Rossi: Height makes MotoGP tyres more difficult compared to Vinales
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Dani Pedrosa
Author Oriol Puigdemont
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021