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2019-02-19
By motorsport.com

KTM welcome Pedrosa the “hero” into their family

KTM CEO Stefan Pierer criticises the speed in which Honda dropped the Spanish rider, but sees only gain for Austrian team

KTM CEO Stefan Pierer spoke, last week, with motorsport.com about Dani Pedrosa’s move to the Austrian team, his role as test rider and the KTM family.

He began by exclaiming his disbelief that Repsol Honda could have even let the ‘Little Samurai’ go: “You have to imagine that Dani Pedrosa was released overnight after 14 years with Honda. How narrow minded can you be?” said the Austrian, before adding “He is a hero! He is the ambassador!”

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Pierer went on to talk about the culture that they’ve created in KTM: “Here, people stand together. What others do with money, I try to achieve with the family. Many of my racers are now in management. Take a look at [ex-motocross champion, now KTM motorsports director] Pit Beirer. That's what makes us special."

The team anticipate that Pedrosa, who is now recovering from a collarbone operation, will be “completely fit by the end of April or early May, if everything goes as the doctors say.” Said Red Bull KTM MotoGP Team Manager Mike Leitner, who is looking forward to hearing the ex-Honda rider’s opinion: “A lot of our riders have come from Yamaha,” he said. “That’s why it was refreshing to get a rider from another manufacturer, because he sees and explains things differently.”

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Leitner added: "Dani is a dream test rider, because if someone is so out of the norm, he has to find an even better set-up to ride fast."