MotoGP: Dani Pedrosa to make Jerez wildcard appearance with Red Bull KTM

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Dani Pedrosa will return to the MotoGP grid at Jerez this April as a wildcard entrant with Red Bull KTM Racing.

The 31-time MotoGP race winner retired from racing at the end of the 2018 season and joined KTM’s test programme the following year. Since then, Pedrosa has worked alongside Mika Kallio in developing the RC16.

Pedrosa has an impressive record at Jerez having scored four victories and nine podiums there during his successful career. In 2017, Pedrosa secured his 30th premier class win at Jerez.

“It’s fantastic news that Dani wants to refresh himself with MotoGP this season and Jerez makes good sense as it’s a popular place for us to test and, also, he knows the place very well,” Team Manager, Francesco Guidotti said.

“It will be an ideal opportunity for him to get more information for the future development of our race bike and we look forward to having him with us in the pitbox.”

This will Pedrosa’s second wildcard appearance since retiring, with the former Repsol Honda rider also taking part in the 2021 Grand Prix of Styria at the Red Bull Ring.

The dramatic return saw Pedrosa’s bike burst into flames after he fell on the exit of the tight turn three. His KTM RC16 was left stranded in the middle of the circuit and was hit by Lorenzo Savadori’s Aprilia, with fire spreading across the circuit.

Savadori sustained a broken ankle, but Pedrosa avoided injury and was able to make the restart, crossing the line in 10th.

“Mika Kallio, Dani Pedrosa and our whole test program is so important and of course they have limited track time,” KTM Motorsports Director, Pit Beirer added. “Dani is a strong guy with a strong mentality, and we always said when he wanted to do a wildcard then we’d be happy to make that happen.

“The perfect ‘test’ is always a race situation. If we can work on future development parts, then it is super-important and I’m very happy that Dani will race again.”

Since Pedrosa joined the Austrian manufacturer, the RC16 has won seven races in the hands of Brad Binder (2) and Miguel Oliveira (5). The latter has joined RNF Racing Aprilia for the upcoming season and has been replaced by Jack Miller.