With Miguel Oliveira out of action until 2020, Tech3 KTM is set to have a special replacement rider for next week's Valencia test; Dani Pedrosa.

The 31-time MotoGP winner is KTM's factory test rider but with Hafizh Syahrin leaving Tech3 after today's season finale, Pedrosa will now step-in to the French squad - alongside rookie Iker Lecuona - for the two-day Valencia outing.

"Apparently from Tuesday we will have Dani Pedrosa on Miguel’s side, because Miguel is not fit to ride and this is something that is going to be very, very interesting and it’s a great honour to have a legend like Dani working with us," said Tech3 team manager Herve Poncharal.

"I believe we will do a great job and hopefully enjoy a fruitful collaboration."

Lecuona, who hadn't ridden a MotoGP bike before free practice on Friday, looked on course to comfortably score points as a replacement for Oliveira in Sunday's race, only to fall from 15th at mid-distance.

His bike then hit Johann Zarco, who had suffered the same kind of front-end mishap. Zarco was taken away on stretcher, but escaped any broken bones.

"I went to the box to speak to him, but he had gone to the Clinica to check his foot. When the team told me that he went with the scooter, I was relaxed, because I was very scared for him," said Lecuona, who was seen rushing to Zarco's aid after the accident.

“I feel sorry for my team because I crashed. I didn’t want to finish this weekend like this, as it was amazing! First, it was my first race in MotoGP and second because I was fast all the weekend with the team, that helped me a lot, so thanks for all the good work.

"I crashed, honestly, I don’t know what happened, because I didn’t brake later or changed the line, but first Petrucci crashed in this corner, then Zarco on the same place and behind it was me… I’m just sorry for the team for it. Now we continue working for next year!”

Poncharal was full of praise for his new signing: "What a shame, because Iker did a more than perfect weekend until he went on that part of the track, that was greasy or with some oil, where these guys crashed without any warning.

"It was the end of a perfect weekend, the lap times were unbelievable. He could have almost ended up in the top 10, but anyway, you need to finish a race before talking about results.

"But what he showed today and the whole weekend is, that Iker is a great talent, he is for sure going to be a very, very strong MotoGP rider in the near future. The good news is, that he’s got a lot of laps under his belt now before we start the proper 2020 testing on Tuesday here in Valencia."

Meanwhile, Syahrin now heads back to Moto2 after crossing the line 15th and last on Sunday.

“2019 is done, I’m really, really sorry to my team, especially my crew, because they were pushing so hard, but for me it was very difficult to find the rhythm to be consistent compared to my first year in MotoGP," said the Malaysian. " I can only say I’m sorry, I tried my best! This race was very slow for me. One point is better than nothing in the end, but we were hoping for a lot better race pace.

"Anyway, thank you to everybody to support me and believe in me and also especially Hervé for giving me this opportunity for two years. I will try to come back stronger, so this is part of my journey now. Hervé built up my experience and my confidence. I just wish all the best to the team! I will miss this family!

"Thank you very much also to KTM for trusting in me, I’m sorry, that I couldn’t show my best this season.”

"I want to say a big thank you to Hafizh Syahrin. It was not an easy season for him, but he was always full of joy," Poncharal said. "He was a very positive and constructive rider. I wish him the best of luck for 2020!"

 

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