Thirteen seasons in Moto GP, one 125cc title, two 250cc titles, countless podiums: Daniel Pedrosa’s career has been a very remarkable one, but it has now reached its end.
With an announcement in July, Pedrosa stated that 2018 season will be his last one in MotoGP. The Spanish rider’s future had been uncertain, especially after Repsol Honda signed a deal with Jorge Lorenzo to ride for the Team in 2019 alongside Marc Marquez.
The 33 years old, though, was already planning his retirement: “It’s been a though decision to take, one I’ve been thinking about for a long time”, Pedrosa said. “I realized that racing was not like before for me anymore, I have now other priorities in life, I want to do other things. I’m happy enough with what I’ve done and reached in this sport. I want to thank Dorna and Honda, and also all my sponsors and fans”.
The Valencia round last weekend was his very last MotoGP race; Daniel ended in 5th position. And now he begins a new chapter of his life: from 2019 he will be KTM test rider alongside Mika Kallio.
The Austrian factory will benefit from the services of a very experienced and talented rider, in order to develop the bike that Johan Zarco and Pol Espargaro will ride in MotoGP next season. The link between Pedrosa and KTM is not totally unexpected, with both of them sharing Red Bull as sponsor and also with Mike Leitner being former Pedrosa’s Crew Chief and now KTM Moto GP Team Manager.
Moto GP circus gave its farewell to Dani Pedrosa crowning him “Moto GP Legend”, a very deserved title for a rider who marked 30 victories in the Top Class, always faithful to his Honda Team and sharing the garages with the likes of Casey Stoner, Nicky Hayden, Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez.
Even if he never added a MotoGP title to his career, his name, his performances and his riding style will be surely missed by fans and fellow riders: Lorenzo described him as a great rival on track even if they had a few issues in the past; Marquez revealed Daniel’s funny and pleasant side away from cameras, while Valentino described Pedrosa as a very important part of Moto GP world.
Goodbye Daniel, and thanks for the memories!