Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio will retain their roles as test and development riders for the KTM Factory Team for 2021 as the Austrian manufacturer looks to progress on from a breakthrough campaign in 2020.

While Kallio has been involved in the KTM MotoGP project from the very start, including giving the RC16 its MotoGP debut during a single race outing in 2016 prior to its full arrival in 2017, Pedrosa came on board ahead of the 2019 season after decades as a Honda rider.

Considered something of a coup at the time, not least because of his intimate Honda history, the KTM RC16 of 2020 was regarded as the first developed to be developed directly from Pedrosa’s input and thus has been credited as the key factor in helping it to achieve three victories, eight podiums and fifth in the overall riders’ classification.

2020 MotoGP - Winners & Losers Part.1

“KTM is very keen to keep improving and I’m only too happy to keep working with them and helping their riders onto bigger goals. I want to thank Pit Beirer, Stefan Pierer and Red Bull for all their trust in me.”

While Pedrosa has repeatedly turned down overtures from KTM to consider a racing role too, colleague Kallio has retained a fairly healthy racing career of 14 starts through various wild-card and substitute showings, not least in 2020 when he concluded the year at Tech 3 Racing in place of Iker Lecuona.

“It is great to continue this project. Five years have passed already with this crew and I cannot believe time has gone so fast. It has been rewarding to see the development of the bike and all the phases which have got us here. 

“Especially in 2020 with victories and podiums; it has been amazing. It is good to see all the hard work and dedication paying off for everyone involved in the project. I have worked with KTM for eleven years now during my career, which is basically half of my whole time in racing. KTM is my second family and I am proud and privileged to continue being with this company. 

“I think the results of this year motivate both the crew and riders towards an even better 2021, so I am already looking forward to the upcoming season. I think we have now what it takes to fight at the top.”