Updated 07/22/2021 – 13:56
Dani Pedrosa returns, with 35 years, to a grand prize, that of Styria, after almost three out of the adrenaline rush of racing. He returns to test pieces, because he no longer enjoys unlimited tests when he loses his record in the concessions (he won two races in 2020), at the home circuit for KTM, the Red Bull Ring, as a reward for his great work and … who knows for what else.
The thing is that Dani has 54 grand prix victories, And at the Red Bull Ring Miguel Oliveria already won last year on his motorcycle, so he is in a position to play a very worthy role due to his saddle, talent and stage. But how far?
Dani does not even talk about it, he does not know his level of grand prix competitiveness until he sees himself on the track, but It would not be the first time that a guest, or ‘wild card’ has made a run to reach the podium, or even win.
In the queen displacement Kevin Magee, in 1987, and Daryl Beattie in 1992, already on the podium, but the best used invitation, the most remembered without a doubt, that of the only victory in MotoGP, or premier class, by Troy Bayliss in 2006. The prize for the Australian for achieving the Superbike title was to replace Sete Gibernau, injured, with his Ducati in the last race, neither more nor less than the one that said the title between Rossi and Hayden. And won.
He is not the only one, especially in the era of the wild Japanese wild-cards that filled Suzuka with adrenaline when the Japanese Grand Prix came around and they had them stiff with the leaders of the World Cup. Daijiro Kato, then MotoGP star, he won as Wild-Card in 1997 in medium displacement and repeated in 1998, on a spectacular podium that along with Shinya Nakano and Naoki Matsudo completed the only podium full of guests in motorcycling.
The Spanish who reached the highest, neither more nor less than the podium, was Álex Debón, third in the Cheste in 250 in 2007, when he was a tester for Aprilia and had the same award as Pedrosa in 20 days.
In total, there have been eight pilots in the modern era capable of this machado: Masaru Kobayashi (Japan 87, 250cc), Jim Filice (USA 88, 250cc), John Kocinski (Japan and USA 89 250cc), Daijiro Kato (Japan 97 and 98 250cc), Marcellino Lucchi (Italy 98, 250cc), Osamu Miyazaki ( Japan 2002, 250cc) and Troy Bayliss (Valencia 2006, MotoGP).