Pedrosa on the other hand spent 13 years at Repsol Honda, the biggest, most successful and well-resourced team in the paddock, during which he amassed 31 wins and 112 podium finishes.

In short, Pedrosa “understands how a wining bike or a podium bike should feel.” That should, in Leitner’s eyes, propel the factory forward and provide the project with “a big boost” after a difficult 2018.

“On the test side it’s necessary to make a step in terms of experience,” he said. “Dani, of course, will bring a lot of experience. He’s an experienced MotoGP rider and he can focus on aspects that Mika cannot because he’s just missing these years in MotoGP. From the level we have now, I think Dani can help us a lot to make that next step.

When you look at the success list of course he’s also a completely different level. But without this we know how hard Mika is pushing, and how well he was performing when we brought him to wildcard.

“So it’s not just this aspect. Dani can bring something different. I think together, with these two riders, we can make a good job on the testing side and this will help us a lot on the racing side a lot.

“I mean, he more or less understands how a wining bike or a podium bike should feel. Now let’s start working. He will tell us what he thinks about our bike and we will work with him.

“But to be fair we will have Zarco in the race team and he will also have his own idea. As a company you have to have to find the correct mix of different riders. Next year we will have four highly talented riders on our bike.

“This will give our project a big boost. We’ve even got Dani in this test place, along with Mika, and this will lift completely the KTM project in MotoGP.”

The 54-time grand prix race winner is due to enjoy his first outing on the factory’s RC16 on the 16th December at Jerez.

Click here to read the full interview with Mike Leitner.


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