Dani Pedrosa has opened up on his decision to join KTM in a testing capacity from the end of this year, stating the chance to lend his considerable experience to a “young team with high expectations” was a crucial factor.

It was confirmed on Friday the 32-year old would end an 18-year working relationship with Honda to become a test rider for the Austrian factory’s MotoGP project for 2019 and ’20.

Pedrosa confirmed he would not climb aboard the RC16 at the official tests at Valencia and Jerez this November, and stated his deal does not contain the option to race as a wildcard next year.

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“I don't know exactly what to expect, but for sure it's a different role,” said Pedrosa at Phillip Island. “I did testing every year when we tried prototypes, and I know a bit what it's about, but not only to be a test rider.

“So I don't know what to expect exactly, but for sure it's a different approach regarding pressure and regarding excitement. So there is less adrenaline and less feelings, but still you are riding a bike and this is a good thing.”

Was one of Pedrosa’s motivating factors to join a test team that already features Mika Kallio to ease his way out of a life spent in competitive sport?

“That's a good point, of course,” he said. “But basically, it's a young team with high expectations, they are working hard, and maybe with my experience I can give some help to develop the bike in a good direction or maybe a faster way. And as I say, with a young project it's always nice, so let's see what's the future.”

Pedrosa has ridden Honda machinery for each of the past 18 seasons, across three grand prix classes. In that time he has amassed 54 grand prix wins, three world titles and become the only rider in history to win at least on race in 16 consecutive seasons.

Asked to surmise his emotions on riding for a manufacturer that wasn’t Honda, Pedrosa said, “You know, for sure it's different, it's a new thing, because I always ride Honda.

“When I was in Motegi, I was meeting a lot of Japanese staff that I knew and developed bikes with, from 125s to MotoGP, so for sure it's like they are part of my family, you know. But sometimes you need to go for new things.”

The Catalan endured a desperate day in Australia, in which he qualified 18th and struggled to man-handle his RC213V in the blustery conditions.

“Today was a terrible day,” he said, “because the wind was very strong, and I couldn't have any feeling, especially in the fast corners, section one and section three.

“And I was struggling to keep the wheel down in the ground and it felt like I was sailing out in the corners, so I couldn't really use the corner speed, at this track where it's all about corner speed and having a good feeling in the angle, because you spend a lot of time on the angle.

“Unfortunately it was very bad. Qualifying was a very bad performance. So not a good position tomorrow in the race, but just that tomorrow is a little bit less windy, and that I can do a better race than what I did in qualifying.”



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