KTM's MotoGP test plan for 2019 hits a roadblock due to Dani Pedrosa's surgery
Retired MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa 's test programme with KTM has hit a roadblock due to a surgery on the 'stem cells after a double stress fracture of the right collarbone'.
After calling time on his MotoGP career with Honda, who chose him to replace with Jorge Lorenzo alongside Marc Marquez from 2019 onward, Pedrosa decided to take up the test role with KTM instead of the Japanese manufacturer.
The Spaniard's relation with Honda's Albert Puig seems to have taken the wrong route as well with the two having a verbal go at each other. Aside the off track shenanigans, Pedrosa made his KTM debut in a private test at Jerez in December.
Pedrosa rode the RC16 as he took first steps to get the bike ready for the 2019 season. He was gearing up to have more runs on the bike including the pre-season test but medical issues means, he is set to miss crucial days as he rehabilitate from the surgery.
A note from Pedrosa's team stated: "Dani Pedrosa is forced to start 2019 with very different plans to those that he had foreseen. The Spanish rider will face in the coming months a broad and demanding process of physical recovery derived from the complex double stress fracture of the right collarbone that has recently been diagnosed.
"The three-time world champion and MotoGP Legend will follow a meticulous medical planning that includes tissue repair surgery, with graft contribution constituted by its own stem cells, with what is pursued the best and most effective consolidation of the injured bone.
"Pedrosa notes that 'unexpectedly I had a double stress fracture in the right collarbone, just in a gesture of strength. Over the years I have had several fractures in that area and the last time was in three parts, leaving it sclerotic.
'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'.
"Unfortunately, this entire clinical process takes time and will prevent Pedrosa from continuing with the test program initially planned for the beginning of the year as a test rider for the KTM team.
"Despite that, the first tests during the past month of December in the Circuit of Jerez have given Dani Pedrosa a good start point in the development of the KTM and is totally involved in the project.
"That is why Dani himself regrets 'these circumstances and I thank KTM for their great support for my full recovery. We are very excited about the work we are doing and that is why I want to be physically in the best conditions for that exciting task. For me, the challenge does not stop'."
The injury means the development programme for KTM also has a roadblock with its other test rider Mika Kallio only getting himself back on track after his surgery in 2018. The Austrian manufacturer had a terrible time with injuries in general last season.
Apart from the injury to Kallio, its regular rider Pol Espargaro had multiple crashes which required surgery. The team had to rope in Loris Baz as his replacement while Randy de Puniet was called in as an emergency test rider.
[Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]