Why Pedro Acosta is Motogp’s biggest star since Rossi

Two races into his motogp career, Spanish rider Pedro Acosta has stunned the motogp grid by already getting a podium at just 19. So why believe the hype?

Pedro Acosta, MotoGP race, Poruguese MotoGP, 24 March 2024 / Gold & Goose / Red Bull Content Pool

His career up to now

Pedro Acosta first arrived on the Grand Prix scene in 2021 after graduating from the Red Bull Rookies Cup, which is a one-make junior championship. Immediately, he impressed starting out in the Moto3 class of Grand Prix racing.

At the second round of the season in Qatar, Acosta announced himself as one of the next great names in bike racing by winning the race from the pit lane. This is usually impossible, as Moto3 is a closely fought championship with pack racing as its key selling point.

Pedro Acosta, Moto2, Valencia MotoGP, 24 November 2023 / Gold & Goose / Red Bull Content Pool /

This set the scene for the rest of the year as he dominated the championship, winning it and therefore gaining promotion to Moto2, which is the intermediate class on the Grand Prix scene.

However, unlike Moto3, the Kalex chassis he rode didn’t give him the feel on the front tyre that enabled him to dominate Moto3 so well. This led to a crash-ridden season, which left him fifth in the standings with just three wins all year.

However, albeit still without the confidence on the bike he had in Moto3. Acosta dominated the 2023 season, taking the title with seven wins. This led KTM, who had supported him as part of their Ajo junior teams through Moto2 and 3, to promote him to their MotoGP Tech3 junior team for 2024.

This is where the aura around Acosta seriously ramped up, as along with KTM giving him a factory bike for the year. He also managed to get his trademark front tyre feeling back. This meant within two or three laps of the end-of-season test at Valencia last December, he was already on par with experienced talent such as Aleix Espargaro on the factory Aprilia.

How much has he impressed in 2024?

Acosta has impressed so much just two races into 2024, as in this new aero and rear ride height device-based era, Moto2 and MotoGP have become like other worlds in terms of riding style and the skills required to race well.

However, this has not phased Acosta, as around midway through his first ever GP on a MotoGP bike in Qatar, he managed to overtake eight-time world champion Marc Marquez, who was on a much faster-year-old Ducati. However, better was still to come in his second race at Portimao in Portugal.

Acosta managed to fight from seventh place up to an amazing debut podium by putting on brave moves such as the aggressive block pass he put on Pecco Bagnaia at turn two. This led Acosta to be the third-youngest ever podium finisher at 19 in MotoGP and calls for KTM to put him on their factory team bike by the end of the year, which is much earlier than KTM’s current plans.

He is bringing back some of the personality that MotoGP has lost.

Acosta is also a breath of fresh air in interviews, as he speaks his mind, unlike the current crop of PR machines that junior programmes such as VR46 have produced. For example, before he even started in MotoGP last year, Acosta was quoted as saying, “Nowadays, the riders are all far too peaceful and too sweet,” and that “people want to see rivalries, like between Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo or Marc Márquez and Valentino Rossi.”

This has been backed up by his attitude on the track: he just seems to not care about the stature of his rivalries when overtaking them or pushing them to the limit in battles. This is therefore giving MotoGP what it has been missing in recent years, which is a young maverick that can get everyone around the TV to marvel at.

KTM may need to tighten his contract, though. 

With these stunning performances in Qatar and Portimao, manufacturers like Ducati will be sniffing around for a form of exit clause before 2025 or a pre-contract for 2026, as KTM does not have a deal with him beyond that.

Quotes from Acosta such as “Today is not red Ducati, it is red GasGas!” will entice Ducati further, as they currently have the best bike on the grid. It is no question that they will want Acosta on one of their factory bike teams, either themselves or Pramac, as soon as possible, as it is likely Acosta will be a multiple-time MotoGP champion if his rate of development continues at the pace it currently is.

However, he isn’t the only Spanish young superstar in the MotoGP circus right now. 

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In the last twenty years, the majority of motorcycle superstars have come from either Italy or Spain, while Acosta has continued the trend. He isn’t the only superstar who is part of the current circus.

In the Moto2 class currently sits Fermin Aldeguer, a rider that is so good he already has a factory bike MotoGP contract for 2025. This comes after he won four races in a row last year on his Boscoscuro speed-up bike. While yes, he hasn’t started 2024 as well as ended 2023, this is mainly seen to be down to the change from Dunlop tyres to Pirelli tyres, which means it’s only a matter of time before Fermin is up to speed with the new tyre, showing why he and Acosta in 2025 could easily be title favourites on their respective Ducati and KTM bikes.