Although since 2018, the year of his official retirement from the World Championship, he had already given us some wild cars with KTM, it is always a new joy to find Dani Pedrosa in the race again, perhaps because his mere presence on the grid brings our mind back to epic of the Magnificent 4. Do you remember him, an enormous talent set in a small physique, battling with the giants like Rossi, Lorenzo and Stoner? This weekend in Jerez, the multiple Spanish champion, official KTM test rider, didn’t make a mistake: second row in qualifying just 3 tenths from pole position; sixth position in the (new for him) Sprint Race, also setting the fastest lap of the race; seventh position in the Sunday GP just 6 seconds behind an extraordinary Bagnaia, winner of the day. Riders of the caliber of Quartararo and Vinales, not to mention another dozen names that are just a little less high-sounding, have only ever seen him from behind this weekend. At this point it seems like there are no longer the pilots of the past: but is that really the case?
A FAVORABLE CONTEXT
Let’s start by saying that Dani Pedrosa is a sui generis test rider given that he is a three-time world champion who rightfully entered the Hall of Fame (2018) thanks to 54 GP wins and 156 podiums conquered. This is to say that, even with the presumed real riders of the past, Dani didn’t get paid every Sunday. Moreover, Jerez, where he recently carried out six days of testing, is a circuit very similar to the hyper-technical riding of Pedrosa, who here, not surprisingly, won once in the 250 and three times in the MotoGP: only Valentino Rossi, on the track Andalusian, did better than him. Finally, it should be noted that KTM, throughout the weekend, proved to be probably more competitive than the Ducatis and Aprilias and certainly much more on the ball than the Hondas and Yamahas.