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With career-long rival and compatriot Jorge Lorenzo announcing he is set to wildcard at the Catalan GP with Yamaha, will Dani Pedrosa be doing a similar effort with KTM? It’s a topic the three-time World Champion discussed with DAZN as the Spanish broadcaster and Pedrosa relived his 2017 Spanish GP victory via video call recently.
“The situation is very different,” explains Pedrosa, talking about Lorenzo and Yamaha opting for a wildcard appearance in Barcelona. Likewise to the number 99, Pedrosa is in a testing role and has been since the start of 2019, but the ‘Little Samurai’ admits a racing return isn’t on the cards as things stand – but that could change.
Highlights: Pedrosa uncatchable and unmatchable in Jerez
“I don’t know his reasons; if it’s something personal, wanting to try things or both. It’s different to ride with a bike that you can get on and only have to learn the circuit. It’s clear that for the championship and the fans it’s good to see him race,” continues Pedrosa, talking about Lorenzo.
Pedrosa then talks about his situation: “Not at the moment, no. We need to work on the bike. When next year’s bike arrives we’ll see. At the moment we’re trying parts, it’s not the time to try it in a race.
“As it stands, right now, I’ll tell you no. Not because there are no races, but because it doesn’t make sense to the project. If they do consider that it would be the right time and would benefit the project, we’d talk about it.”
Pol Espargaro praises Pedrosa's KTM test efforts
So why would it not benefit KTM that much to have a rider as fast as Pedrosa doing a wildcard somewhere? It’s a question that many people are probably wanting to know the answer to, and Pedrosa shares a brief explanation as to why it’s not as beneficial as it may seem.
“I’ve seen in Grands Prix that Bradl did a wildcard for Honda, with the hard tyre or a special new part. But because those who are really making the difference are running other parts, the best you can do at that moment is use it to set a reference. And if you put on the hard tyre and go a second slower, you’ll see you go slower. Apart from that, I don’t think it serves for much more.
“When you go a second slower, the bike goes totally differently and what you say when you get to the box is completely different. The tests are really good because you have all day and you can draw a conclusion at the end. That gives you the guide to keep improving. A Grand Prix is so specific and it’s crucial to be in the same form as the rest, including the tyre that everyone is running, the gears… If not, you don’t get a lot of information.”
The end of an era: Pedrosa's 18 years racing
Head over to motorbikemag.es to read more of what Pedrosa had to say, as he touches on his thoughts on Pol Espargaro on a Honda, Johann Zarco’s situation at KTM and his thoughts on former Repsol Honda teammate Marc Marquez.
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