Dani Pedrosa is coming out of retirement aged 35 to ride for KTM at next month’s Styrian Grand Prix, the MotoGP team announced on Tuesday.
The Spaniard, who won three world titles in lower categories and competed for 13 seasons in MotoGP winning 31 races and finishing second overall three times, retired at the end of 2018.
He has been working as a development rider for KTM.
The Austrian team said Pedrosa would ride “an adapted development version of the KTM RC16 to gain further valuable data in Grand Prix conditions”.
The KTM RC16 is the model being raced by KTM and its satellite team, Tech3, this season.
“It has been a long time since my last race and, of course, the mentality for a GP is very different to a test,” said Pedrosa on the KTM web site.
“My focus for the GP is to try to test the things we have on the bike in a race situation.”
“It’s difficult to talk about my expectations after being so long away from competition. It might all click into a racing mentality or it might not.”
Pedrosa will race as a wild card entry, alongside KTM’s two regular factory riders, Miguel Oliveira, who is seventh in the championship, and Brad Binder, who is 10th.
“It will be curious to see Dani in MotoGP again,” said Mike Leitner, the KTM Race Manager.
“He has been away from racing for quite a long time but it will be valuable to have him in garage at Red Bull Ring to analyze the strong and not-so-strong parts of our KTM RC16 package in GP conditions.
The Styrian GP on August 8 will be the 10th round of 19 in a season dominated so far by Frenchman Fabio Quartararo of Yamaha.