Dani Pedrosa To Make Shock Moto3 Switch With KTM For 2016

As many of you will have spotted, this was in fact an April Fool's story. First and foremost, Dani Pedrosa's arm pump issues are very real, and he is seeking urgent treatment for the problem. This April Fool's joke was not entirely in the best of taste, for which we offer our apologies, most of all to Dani Pedrosa. Pedrosa is one of the finest racers of his generation, as his place in the list of all-time winners shows all too clearly. The joke was meant in the be best possible way. For a more sober reflection on Pedrosa's injury, read the blog piece I wrote for On Track Off Road magazine.

There were lots of clues that this was a joke, however. There is the small matter of Pedrosa being halfway through a MotoGP contract with HRC, set to ride for Repsol Honda in 2016. What's more, Dani Pedrosa will be 31 in 2016, and the maximum age in Moto3 is 28. Pedrosa would never be allowed to enter Moto3. Even more ridiculous is the idea that Pedrosa would leave Honda, having raced for the factory his entire life. He has shown no interest in racing in any other class, either, and will most likely retire from racing when he leaves MotoGP, whenever that happens to be. As for the financial inducements by KTM and Red Bull, well, it is easy enough to calculate just how much they would be worth...

Though we rather regret the lost age of class specialists dominating junior classes, riders like Angel Nieto, Toni Mang and Juan Martinez forming the first hurdle for youngsters on the way to a glorious career, Moto3 is now a stepping stone for young riders entering Grand Prix racing. For another year, all of the stories on the website will be as accurate as possible. Normal service has now been resumed... 

The cause of Dani Pedrosa's shock announcement that he will be withdrawing from racing temporarily to seek treatment for arm pump has finally been unearthed. MotoMatters has learned that in addition to seeking treatment for the medical condition, Pedrosa is headed to Austria, where he is to test KTM's Moto3 machine ahead of a shock return to the junior class in 2016, in pursuit of a fourth world championship. Pedrosa believes racing the lighter Moto3 bikes will allow him to avoid arm pump, and prolong his Grand Prix career. Alongside racing for KTM in Moto3 in 2016, Pedrosa will help develop the Austrian manufacturer's MotoGP prototype, ahead of its debut in 2017.

MotoMatters uncovered the story while waiting to follow Pedrosa to the VUMC hospital in Amsterdam. A source in Qatar had revealed that the Spaniard would be flying to Holland for treatment at the hospital, with a reputation for dealing with sports injuries. Pedrosa was seen to arrive at Schiphol airport, where he was greeted by a woman wearing an orange uniform. Recognizing the woman as Avril Fisch, long-standing group leader of KTM's engine development department, we approached close enough to be within earshot, without being seen.

When Pedrosa came through the doors of the arrival's hall, Frau Fisch greeted the Spaniard with the words, "So, Dani, ready for your challenge in Moto3 next year?" At that point, we confronted Fisch and Pedrosa, where they confessed their plans.

The entire scheme has come about as a result of Honda's victory in Moto3 last year. KTM is keen to get revenge, and know that they must engage the services of a top rider to ensure that they can beat Honda in the junior class. The plot had been hatched after the first few races of 2014, once it became clear that the Honda NSF250RW was a vastly more powerful machine than KTM's RC250.

The NSF250RW was Honda's response to KTM's original Moto3 bike, built because the Japanese manufacturer felt that KTM had violated the spirit of the Moto3 regulations in 2013. Honda wanted to demonstrate that they, too, were prepared to completely disregard the spirit of the rules, and put their vast engineering might to work to build a bike that would be unbeatable. That bike won the 2014 Moto3 title with Alex Márquez.

Knowing that they would never have the resources of Honda, KTM approached the problem from the other end of the equation. Instead of trying to out-engineer Honda, they set about trying to find the best possible rider they could get to ride the bike. They settled on the idea of signing one of the four so-called 'Aliens' of MotoGP, and putting them on the bike.

KTM first approached Valentino Rossi. The Austrian marque already has links with the Italian, as they supply bikes to Rossi's Sky VR46 Moto3 team. Sensing that his chances of securing a tenth MotoGP title were closer than ever before, Rossi turned KTM down.

Instead, KTM opened negotiations with Dani Pedrosa and his then crew chief, Mike Leitner. Though Pedrosa was reluctant at first, KTM won him over with a range of inducements. First and foremost, he would be reunited with his long-time crew chief Leitner. Leitner had left the Repsol Honda team to lead development of KTM's MotoGP project, ahead of the bike's debut in 2017. Leitner and Pedrosa concocted rumors of a less-than-amicable split, to divert media interest away from any thoughts of Pedrosa joining the Austrian engineer at KTM. Pedrosa was also offered a role in the development of the RC16 MotoGP prototype, leading the direction of the project.

In the end, Pedrosa was persuaded by an exceptionally generous financial offer. To demonstrate just how serious they are with this project, Pedrosa was offered 1% of the shares in KTM, as well as 1% of shares in Red Bull, who will be backing the Moto3 team. Furthermore, Red Bull will be backing the factory KTM team once they enter MotoGP. Some sources suggest that KTM have already contacted Casey Stoner about a ride in MotoGP. Stoner has strong ties to Red Bull, and was the first rider to win a Grand Prix for KTM, taking victory in the 125cc class at Malaysia in 2004.

The most shocking part of the entire scheme is that Pedrosa will be leaving Honda with the Japanese factory's blessing. Pedrosa's departure from Repsol Honda allows HRC to move Marc Márquez' brother Alex up into the Repsol squad. Having the Márquez brothers in the same team is a marketing dream for Honda, Repsol, Estrella Galicia, and all of the team's sponsors. The outing which Alex was given on board the Repsol Honda RC213V at the Valencia test in November last year was a trial run of the project. MotoMatters has seen mock ups of a 2016 team presentation provisionally entitled "Márquez Bros - A Day at the Races."

Allowing Pedrosa to leave to go race in Moto3 is a sign of Honda's confidence in their youngest signing, Fabio Quartararo. Already labeled 'the Márquez beater', HRC believes that the French youngster will easily beat Pedrosa, once the Spanish veteran climbs aboard the KTM Moto3 machine.

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Comments

...and I was hoping to delete my shocked comment on this big "news" before anyone noticed....

Total votes: 121

You nearly had me there, until i realised what day it was,and picked my jaw up off the ground. :-)

Total votes: 121

Avril Fisch... Poisson d'avril! :P

Ninou

Total votes: 114

ha

Total votes: 110

You had me to that point then i looked up at the top right hand corner of my screen and saw the date haha good one.

Total votes: 109

Pedrosa's very career is hanging by a thread. Personally, I don't think that this kind of thing is appropriate at this time and expected better.

Total votes: 134

"Personally, I don't think that this kind of thing is appropriate at this time and expected better."

I agree 100%.

And I commend you for being the first to speak up.

Everyone else, ask yourself this : how would you like it if you had health
problems which were going to literally cost you millions, and someone joked about it ? I very much doubt you'd enjoy that joke. I know I wouldn't, and
I'd probably punch the person who made the joke.

Total votes: 139

Are people serious?! Oh poor dani pedrosa, a website used him for an April fools joke, WAAAAA!
Let's all loosen up a bit eh?

Total votes: 121

Stoner or some other retired racer could have been used instead, or any other rider but Pedrosa who is suffering career-ending medical problems.

A gentleman doesn't joke about another person's health problems, PERIOD.

Total votes: 130

Don't talk about racers negatively! ... Unless it's Stoner?

"A gentleman doesn't joke about another person's health problems, PERIOD" except Casey I don't like him so joke about his health all you want?

Get over it

Total votes: 116

Though Dani is short of stature he is a full grown hard man. I think he got a much needed laugh out of this.

Lighten up and enjoy a bit of humor folks.

Total votes: 119

April 1st is like Christmas for motomatters fans! I always look forward to it! My favorites were the valcano powered Iceland racetrack and the Ducati/AMG merger haha those ones REALLY got me!

Total votes: 131

... what you did there.

Total votes: 123

Fans of the site understand the humor, and the rest probably aren't much fun to hang out with cause they don't like jokes

Total votes: 115

That got it in one
Some people are offended and have no sense of humour.
#get a life

Ken

Total votes: 138

If you think this aint funny, then; what is?
I was fooled there for a moment, until I also checked the date.
For the haters: don't take this at Dani's expense, I'm sure he will have a good laugh to if he sees this.

Total votes: 116

... maybe start with 'stupid' and/or 'insensitive' and go from there?

Don't even try to presume how Pedrosa's feeling right now.

He's under pressure to turn-up at Austin even though he knows it's useless and is only gonna cause more pain and lasting damage.

But hey - let's all laugh and giggle like girls instead at Emmett's cheap trick in the meantime (catch them after the race).

Total votes: 124

You had me until the arrival of Frau Fisch on the scene.
I've never actually witnessed Pedrosa laughing, so I'm uncertain he possesses a sense of humor. I doubt David's leg-pull could offend anybody, but if DP feels wounded, he could remind himself he's relatively healthy and rich.
If his arm problems do prove insurmountable, he could learn from Stoner there's life after MotoGP - and also remember Mamola was another great talent who never got his hands on the big prize - and appears to find life enjoyable.

Total votes: 123

Avril Fisch?... nice touch on a funny April Fool's day article!

Total votes: 108

Well Dani is 29, so will KTM be lobbying for an exemption as HRC did for Quartararo? I assume he will be landing in the Ajo squad... ;)

speaking of (seriously), I know its early, but will Ajo be handling the Factory GP team as well? Ala Gresini/Aprilia?

All the best Dani!

Total votes: 118

... is there a forum where intelligent people can intelligently debate bike-racing?

I thought it might be here, but I've clearly come to the wrong place.

Total votes: 146

Whoa that was close! Before you head to the "intelligent" section of the site you should know it is STRICTLY for people who understand what April Fools is, so you might want to wait a bit

Total votes: 131

I was reading through this professionally written fraudulent statement of April Fool's day with all the seriousness of bomb squad disarming a bomb... until reading the comments. You got me, but that was just WRONG David... so wrong. LOL!

Total votes: 103

Seems like 'Motomatters' only appeals to the simple, low-brow folk - where can I get a good read?

Total votes: 131

You're not obligated to come here, if you don't like this site maybe you should start your own.
I've been coming here for some years now, and I know by now if you want to be well informed on MotoGP this is the place to be.
So, thank you so much David, for a lot of enjoyable and informative reading.
And for sure I'm very sorry too for Dani's misfortune, and I think David is that more than enyone here.
So people, please......

Total votes: 122

Thanks to everyone for your comments. I am the first to admit that this April Fool's story was not in the best of taste. I have no excuses for it, it was just a chance to write something full of private jokes. They were mostly meant to make me laugh, rather than anyone else. I am used to nobody else laughing at my jokes.

Will Dani Pedrosa find it insulting or hurtful? I doubt it. Despite his reputation, Pedrosa is a cheerful and pleasant man. He doesn't always play along with the media. If he is asked a question which he thinks is stupid, or he doesn't want to answer, he will reply with either a single word, or even just a barely perceptible nod of the head. It is actually quite funny: we sit in rows of chairs in front of a table, our recorders all meticulously checked and switched on, ready to catch Pedrosa's every word. Someone asks him a question, and he nods. Both infuriating and hilarious.

When he does speak, he can tell you a lot, give you real insight into a specific aspect of riding, or where they are struggling. He is an interesting man.

Somebody suggested that if I had joked about them this way, they would have punched me. Well, I hope to see Pedrosa back on a bike at a race track very soon. If he wants to punch me, he is more than welcome.

Of course, he can do far worse than punch me. Pedrosa can have HRC exclude me from press debriefs, or HRC might decide to exclude me from all of their media events. That would make reporting much more difficult, and have a negative effect both on this site and on the reporting I do for other magazines. HRC and Pedrosa know this, and I'm sure they will punish me if they feel I deserve it.

As counterbalance, I offer this blog piece I wrote for On Track Off Road magazine. It offers a fairer, more rational perspective on Pedrosa's injury, and expresses some of the admiration I have for Pedrosa as a rider. Dani Pedrosa is one of the four best motorcycle racers in the world. He has beaten Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner, and Marc Marquez in a straight fight multiple times. He does not need me to defend him.

Total votes: 127

Just consider the source on the "concerned." I will add them to my list of tiresome and poor character, right after racist posters, personal attackers of folks like Crutchlow, and those that have Superbikes with all the kit and gear that never lean them over or ride tracks.

(Yawn)

See below for more...

Total votes: 123

It was funny! I'm disappointed that you felt the need to respond to the party-poopers on here. Some people take themselves far too seriously and feel the need to project that onto others and you. It is April 1st, it's your website, and you show unmitigated respect for the entire motogp paddock and the fans on this website in every piece you write. You had already posted the pedrosa magazine piece so the guys criticizing you should have already known your view on his situation.

I would have preferred you took this time to write up another piece related to motogp than respond to these dudes, but alas, even your response here was an informative and entertaining piece of writing.

By the way, I was so annoyed I just sent you a donation!!! Oh wait, April Fools! Ha ha, now that was funny :)

Total votes: 125

Must admit David got me too as my jaw dropped before I checked the calendar. It was a very clever prank, as the Moto3 bikes are far less demanding on the arms, with their brakes being far less powerful and thus having a much lighter lever pull.

I honestly wanted a "Casey Stoner Returns!" article for April fool's. With his appearance at Suzuka, that would have gotten everybody, myself included. Mostly because a lot of us are still so upset by the lost prospect of him racing in this class with the field being so competitive.

Total votes: 112

...if it had a thread of possible truth about it and despite what Suppo says, there could not be a better pilot for Honda at COTA than Stoner, if only for development purposes. There has to be some questions being asked down HRC corridors, I suspect David knows that and, despite not knowing the outcome, gave that one a miss.

Just in case it came true...

Total votes: 110

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:
DO NOT BELIEVE THIS ARTICLE!

Mr Emmett has been revealed as central to a plot led by Honda Japan to field an automated non-human rider. This is truth, and I know it because I am not only smarter than you, but also a privileged insider.

The first HRC electronic rider system successfully fielded was the Dani Pedrosabot. They were not able to make him fully believable as he was inconspicuously small. Their development of personality was rudimentary. Racecraft was a bit primitive. Pedrosabot was integrated into the software and hardware of the electronics package perfectly for starts when the situation was more static and the electronics most active.

There were too many glitches though. He exercised some independent AI which resulted in his attempting to take out human rival Nicky Hayden. Here is where the gravest of warnings must be heeded. David Emmett was the lead technical advisor of the covert team keeping the Pedrosabot project's public face convincing, and paddock utterances are that it was HE that plugged his "journalistic data tool" into the Pedrosabot before it got on the bike that fateful morning.

The beta 2.0 version is a MUCH more developed and worrisome integrated HRC rider replacement, and the Pedrosabot is being taken off line in order to be retrofitted to compete with human riders on the Satellite bike spec.

Don't be fooled. The real issue here is that NO ONE except for maybe Valentino suspects that Marquez is he latest HRC ultimate prototype electronic rider aid.

Do NOT believe for a minute that the "Integrated Championship Software" conspiracy is what it appears. Nor that Casey "quit" - he was unable to be beaten by the Pedrosabot and as such his actual WILL, his spirit to race and win, was removed and transplanted into the MM93 unit.

Think about it!

And here is spy photo evidence of the production naked version:

http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/bikes/honda-reveals-early-autonomous-mot...

Total votes: 127

That Dorna were so worried about the automated non human rider raising cost so much with its software development, and whether factories should be allowed to develop their own software or be forced to use Magneti Mararelli robot software that Dorna have banned non organic motor cycle riders.
This has forced the factory teams to look into using trained primates to actually ride the bikes which has the bonus of drastically reducing rider fees and therefor overall team costs ( possibly down to just the cost of a bunch of bananas), and will prevent the situation where human riders pull into the pits to early for bike changes at the first sign of rain (Lorenzo), or are unable to count 10 laps (Marquez). The primates would only pit when a board with a picture of a banana was held out. Arm pump problems will be a thing of the past as most primates have strong arms.
Problems that I can see is that if different species of primate are used as riders any criticism of any monkey rider will lead to outcries of speciesism, and are we the fans ready to see the winner of a Moto gp playing with his own willy on the rostrum?
For those of you who think this a far fetched idea, just remember monkeys were driving space ships in the 1960s.

Total votes: 107

with first class information that by far surpasses anything else on the internet
Then he makes an light hearted April fools jest along the same lines as many other sites did that day.
The sanctimonious amongst us felt the need to berate him and his style to the point that he is forced to make an apology.
What part of it was a joke with no malice intended do you not understand?
Really mankind, it is about time some of you grew up, started acting your ages and grew a pair.

Total votes: 105

David Emmett is neither confirming nor denying any of paddock allegations. David, what are you willing to go on the record stating regarding "MM93 V2 "hit the rear swingarm of DP26 V1's bike in such a manner that happened to sever his rear wheel speed sensor"?"

I mean come on, how else can that be explained away? It is clear that these riders are just not human.

Total votes: 133