After retiring from the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the 2018 season, Pedrosa took on the opportunity to become test rider for Austrian manufacturer KTM. Pedrosa raced in MotoGP between 2006-2018, for the Factory Repsol Honda team, he won races for 12 consecutive seasons (2006-2017). Before his long MotoGP career, Pedrosa had already become world champion 3 times, once in 125cc and twice in 250cc.
Throughout Pedrosa’s long and successful career, he endured many injuries, often impeding his championship chances. He has suffered injuries to his wrists, ankles, legs, feet, thoracic trauma and he has had many fractures of the collarbone across his career.
In a statement released by Pedrosa’s team, the Spaniard will be forced to miss the beginning of KTM’s testing programme at Sepang from February 1st-3rd and 6th-8th, as he prepares to undergo stem cell surgery on his collarbone. It has been confirmed that a double stress fracture has been found in his right collarbone. Due to previous breaks, the bone had weakened which has triggered the need for serious medical intervention. A stem cell operation will allow the bone to heal, however the recovery timeframe is lengthy, meaning that Pedrosa will be forced to miss pre-season testing.
“Unexpectedly I had a double stress fracture in the right collarbone,” Pedrosa said. “Over the years I have had several fractures in that area and the last time was in three parts. The middle part does not have enough blood flow, creating osteoporosis, so it requires an effective solution to regenerate the bone and achieve adequate recovery. After undergoing several tests and medical consultations, the clear recommendation is the total recovery and bone health.”
After careful consideration and consulting with KTM, Pedrosa has the factory’s support for the operation as he aims to return to full fitness before resuming his test rider duties later this season.
“I regret these circumstances and thank KTM for their great support for my full recovery,” he said, “We are very excited about the work we are doing and that is why I want to be physically in the best condition for that exciting task. For me, the challenge does not stop.”
During the 2018 German Grand Prix, KTM test rider and wildcard, Mika Kallio, suffered knee ligament damage in a monster crash during the FP2 session. Pol Espargaro missed a total of 3 races, plus vital in-season testing time, when he suffered a collarbone fracture in WUP at the Czech Grand Prix. Pedrosa has been hired by KTM to step up it’s development efforts, gaining a rider with the vast experience Pedrosa has, stands to benefit KTM massively, as they expand their efforts across 2 teams.
The final preseason testing session for MotoGP will take place at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, two weeks before the 2019 season opener, from February 23rd-25th. KTM have yet to confirm their in-season testing programme, or their test rider to replace Pedrosa.