For the first time, Dani Pedrosa no longer categorically excludes a wildcard start with KTM – should it become necessary for the project, then they will be discussed
Since Dani Pedrosa ended his active MotoGP career at the end of 2018, he has always excluded isolated wildcard starts in his role as a KTM test driver. The three-time MotoGP Vice World Champion did not want to step in as a replacement for injured riders either. However, Pedrosa was now a little more open about a wildcard start in a race.
“I don’t know. In principle I would say no at the moment. But if it would be advantageous for the development of the motorcycle at a time, we will talk about it,” says Pedrosa at ‘DAZN Spain’. A Grand Prix application would focus on development and testing and not focus on a result.
At the moment, Pedrosa can only wait to see when the KTM factory in Austria can be opened again and work can continue. “I had planned tests in Jerez and Mugello,” said the 34-year-old. These tests have clearly been canceled. Further plans are uncertain. “Nobody is working in the factory at the moment. But the motorcycle has to be developed further. The holeshot system is not yet finished.”
Stefan Bradl shows how wildcards are important for development
Anyhow, wildcard stakes would be at the earliest for Pedrosa in 2021. He believes that this could be an advantage for the overall project: “I saw Stefan Bradl at a Honda Grand Prix. He tested parts or tires. It is important that you drive good times.” Because then there are conclusions for the technicians.
Wildcard start only if it makes sense for the KTM project
Photo: Motorsport Images
And the insights on a Grand Prix weekend are different and can be more valuable than if Pedrosa is alone on a track all day. “If the test goes well, then you say that the bike generally behaves this way and that. It’s different at the Grand Prix. If you don’t ride with the others, it’s not the same.”
Situation with Jorge Lorenzo “not comparable”
Of course, it would be tempting if one day Pedrosa and Yamaha test driver Jorge Lorenzo were not only on the track together for test drives, but also on a race weekend. However, Pedrosa thinks that his situation is “not comparable” to Lorenzos: “I do not know his motives. Whether he should try things out, or it is a personal matter and he wants to race. Maybe it is both.”
“But there is a clear difference between riding a motorcycle that works well and only has to adjust to the route,” Pedrosa says on Lorenzo. Because the Yamaha is already competitive. Pedrosa, on the other hand, plays an important role for further development at KTM. He wants to help bring the Austrian brand to the top.
“It would be good for the championship and the fans if Jorge would race again,” Pedrosa says. And how about a new duel against his former opponent? “I haven’t thought about that yet. We have to work on the KTM. We are testing individual parts and the time for a race has not yet come. If a motorcycle comes for the coming year, it would be good to lock the bike in situations as well test that only exists in a Grand Prix. ”
With images from LAT.