After his return to the Styrian Grand Prix, Dani Pedrosa was again hired by KTM for a second wild card in MotoGP, on the occasion of the San Marino Grand Prix in Misano, a possibility that had already been contemplated.
In addition to Pedrosa, the guest list for that event includes HRC test rider Stefan Bradl and Ducati test rider Michele Pirro.
Obviously, the entry as a wild card can be canceled at any time, but the fact that it has been done is a clear indication that KTM would, once again, persuade Pedrosa to get on the RC16 for the second time after his retirement in November 2018.
Before the Grand Prix, the three riders will be together on the Romagna track for a test (31 August and 1 September) in which Aprilia should also participate, on paper with Andrea Dovizioso, even if the scenario could change.
In fact, the Noale manufacturer remains cautious about which driver will take part in the tests. “At the moment it is expected that Dovizioso will ride, but at the moment we are evaluating all the options,” Aprilia replied when asked by Motorsport.com.
Vinales enters the scene
The options for Aprilia have now changed, with the termination of Maverick Viñales’ contract with Yamaha and the announcement by the Japanese manufacturer that it has given the Spaniard the freedom to face his short-term future as he sees fit. In fact, CEO Massimo Rivola is pushing for Maverick to get on the RS-GP as soon as possible.
The first step will be to take part in the Misano test for test drivers, in preparation for his possible race debut on the Aprilia at the Aragon Grand Prix on 12 September.
Although Rivola was keen to have Maverick debut at Silverstone next week, the rider prefers to remain cautious and test at Misano at the end of August. Only then will he decide when to make his reappearance on a race weekend.
Once this step is done, Aprilia will have to decide whether to include Viñales as the starting rider alongside Aleix Espargaró, which would mean the dismissal of Lorenzo Savadori, or whether to confirm the current line-up and use the six wilds. card at his disposal to field a third RS-GP for Vinales.
This second option would mean a significant additional financial cost, as well as the need to produce two complete motorcycles for Maverick. An enormous effort for Aprilia at the moment, which however could be rewarded by the possibility of collecting a large amount of data in the future.