Pedrosa set to make MotoGP comeback at Misano as KTM wildcard

Ex-MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa is set to make his racing comeback in September’s San Marino Grand Prix as a wildcard for KTM, Motorsport.com has learned.

Pedrosa set to make MotoGP comeback at Misano as KTM wildcard

Pedrosa made his MotoGP debut in 2006 with Honda and raced his entire premier class career with the Japanese marque, winning 36 races and finishing runner-up in the standings on three occasions.

The double 250cc world champion and one-time 125cc title winner retired from MotoGP at the end of the 2018 season and took up a role as KTM’s official test rider.

Pedrosa’s work as test rider has been instrumental in propelling KTM to the front of the grid in MotoGP, with his efforts baring fruit last year.

Brad Binder took KTM’s first ever MotoGP win at the Czech Grand Prix in 2020 just three races into his rookie season, before Miguel Oliveira added a second to its tally at the Styrian GP.

Oliveira sealed KTM’s third win in the season finale in Portugal and took its fourth in this year’s Catalan GP.

KTM is yet to confirm Pedrosa’s Misano wildcard, but has been hinting at it for some time.

As well as Pedrosa, two other wildcards are set to start the San Marino GP, with Honda fielding its test rider Stefan Bradl and Ducati giving Michele Pirro an outing on home soil.

Wildcards have been reinstated for the 2021 season after they were scrapped in 2020 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

KTM’s 2021 season has been a mixed affair, with Oliveira and teammate Brad Binder struggling in the early races – its issues largely a result of the softer front tyre allocation Michelin has brought to 2021.

But a new chassis introduced for the Italian GP at Mugello, which offered better corner-exit performance and improved the RC16’s front-end issues, with Oliveira – who couldn’t break into the top 10 in the first five rounds – finishing second at Mugello.

Winning at Barcelona, Oliveira was second again last time out in Germany while Binder recovered from 13th to take his best result of the season in fourth.

Both Binder and Oliveira will remain with the factory KTM squad in 2022, with the former recently signing a new three-year deal to keep him at the marque through to 2024.

At Tech 3, Moto2 championship leader Remy Gardner will step up while the second seat remains up for grabs.

Gardner’s Moto2 teammate Raul Fernandez had been linked to it, but KTM Motorsport boss Pit Beirer told Motorsport.com last week that the Spaniard had expressed a desire to remain in Moto2 for one more season. 

Dani Pedrosa, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Dani Pedrosa, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

shares
comments

Related video

Assen MotoGP qualifying - Start time, how to watch

Previous article

Assen MotoGP qualifying - Start time, how to watch

Next article

Assen MotoGP: Vinales stays on top in FP3, Marquez to Q1

Assen MotoGP: Vinales stays on top in FP3, Marquez to Q1
Load comments
How KTM has ended up with an embarrassment of MotoGP riches Prime

How KTM has ended up with an embarrassment of MotoGP riches

Forming a ladder all the way from Red Bull Rookies Cup to MotoGP, KTM has created a steady stream of top talents in grand prix racing delivering the Austrian marque with the success expected of the brand. Here's how it has gone about it.

MotoGP
Jul 28, 2021
Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant Prime

Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant

Danilo Petrucci’s days in MotoGP appear numbered, as KTM looks to completely reshuffle the Tech3 team for 2022. Though the Italian's 2021 season so far hasn’t been standout, the giant Italian covertly became a top runner in MotoGP across the last decade and brought with him a personality that world sport sorely needs more of

MotoGP
Jul 22, 2021
Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can't be written off yet Prime

Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can't be written off yet

Joan Mir’s defence of his MotoGP title has had an underwhelming start as Suzuki didn’t progress its championship-winning GSX-RR as much as its rivals did with their bikes over the winter. Speaking to Motorsport.com, Mir lays out why his title defence has been stalled so far and why he’s confident title number two is still within reach

MotoGP
Jul 12, 2021
How Quartararo became the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed Prime

How Quartararo became the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed

It's been six years since Jorge Lorenzo gave Yamaha its last MotoGP title in 2015. Since his departure at the end of 2016, Yamaha's form has been inconsistent but it has at last found a new talisman to return it to the top spot in the form of a precociously talented Frenchman who currently leads the standings.

MotoGP
Jul 6, 2021
Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties Prime

Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties

On Monday, Yamaha announced it will part ways with Maverick Vinales at the end of the 2021 season - a move requested by the rider. As the already strained relationship between both parties in MotoGP hit rock bottom in recent weeks, this divorce - as Oriol Puigdemont writes - is good for both Yamaha and Vinales for a number of reasons

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2021
The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption Prime

The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption

A decade after first linking up with Ducati in what turned out to be an ill-fated period in his MotoGP career, Valentino Rossi has joined forces with the Italian marque once more - this time as a team owner. And the VR46/Ducati tie-up beginning in 2022 has the potential to right the wrongs of Rossi and Ducati's nadir of 2011/2012.

MotoGP
Jun 24, 2021
Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi Prime

Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi

With Valentino Rossi’s next career move imminent in MotoGP, it is set to have wide-reaching influences on a number of riders and teams on the grid. But one of the biggest impacts will be felt at Yamaha, with its pivotal role in the saga set to see it lose its appointment with ‘The Doctor’

MotoGP
Jun 22, 2021
How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win Prime

How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win

Marc Marquez has been through hell and back in the 581 days between his win in the 2019 Valencia season finale and his heroic MotoGP comeback victory in Germany last Sunday. Despite battling physical limitations and a difficult 2021-spec Honda, the Sachsenring provided the perfect storm for the Spaniard to return to the top step

MotoGP
Jun 21, 2021