But the Spaniard, who retired as a full-time racer at the end of 2018, always insisted the weekend was about aiding his KTM test riding duties.

As such, and although each MotoGP manufacturer is allowed three wild-card entries per season, Pedrosa made clear he will only return if he and KTM think it will be useful to the project.

“We will go back home and try to get all the information together, mix it with my feelings and my comments and see what topics of information we've got and then see what we can plan,” said the 37-year-old, whose only previous wild-card was at Austria 2021, when he finished tenth.

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Pedrosa’s main goals for the Spanish event were to fill in gaps in his own testing knowledge, as well as race-developing some new parts, such as aero.

The 31-time premier-class winner (for Honda) wanted to experience the revised race weekend format and new Sprint race first-hand, as well as trying time attacks, an increasingly crucial part of a MotoGP weekend but rarely available to test riders due to the limitation on test tyres.

Pedrosa was also curious to understand how the RC16 works in a group situation, in a race, against rival machines.

“Yes [it was useful], I did follow a few different bikes over these days,” Pedrosa said.

Full-time KTM riders Brad Binder and Jack Miller excelled in the Spanish Grand Prix battles, passing almost at will on the brakes as they took podium finishes in both races, including a Sprint win.

Pedrosa was quick to credit the Binder and Miller for setting up their bikes to fight in such a way, pointing out that it’s not an area he can work on when riding alone in private tests.

“Really for the battle… It's something Brad, Jack and their team did, that they developed some sort of feeling and setting that allows them to fight,” Pedrosa said.

“I cannot set up the bike for overtakes [in testing], I can just set up the bike for good braking, good turning, good corner speed and so on. But I cannot simulate any racing moments.

“From what we saw, they look really nice and aggressive and they control the bike and that's something very important.”

New format ‘more crazy’ than Pedrosa expected

Turning to the intensity of the new weekend format, Pedrosa warned it could be hard for full-time riders to “keep young and fresh season by season”.

Although Kazakhstan has been dropped, the 2023 calendar is still set to feature 40 races due to the introduction of the Sprints.

Practice has been cut to make time for the Saturday afternoon race, with the top ten riders after Friday now being given direct access to Q, with qualifying moved to Saturday morning.

“It's absolutely more crazy, big time, because not only the Sprint but the format pushes you so hard from Practice 1,” Pedrosa said.

“That, plus more races, plus more aggressiveness, at the end of the year I don't know how the riders will be.

“But for sure over a lifetime, maybe it's going to be more difficult to keep yourself young and fresh season by season.

“I'm saying this from my point of view, I'm already older, I’m not 20 anymore with that fresh energy.

“But I just hope that somehow they find the good compromise, at least in the races, so they don't get injured so often. Because so far it's been a little too much.”