Pedro Acosta took his second World Championship in style with a podium at Sepang, becoming the youngest intermediate class Champion since Dani Pedrosa in 2004, and the youngest ever in Moto2 – just ahead of Marc Marquez. Acosta has taken 14 podiums this year including seven wins, and wraps up the crown with two races to spare.
“I was struggling not to feel the pressure. In the end, we have to understand that we weren’t in an easy situation but the window was open to achieve the championship and I said on Thursday if it wasn’t going to be here, it was going to be in Qatar or in Valencia. In the end, I approached it like a normal weekend trying to be competitive in Sunday’s race and like this we did it. It’s true that in the last couple of races we’ve been riding more with the head because I think it’s very important for the team to be able to achieve the championship and for us to be able to fight for the team title. I think the race was good in the end. We have seen that SpeedUp have something more in the last couple of races and we have to improve. Anyway, we have to be happy we are in our way and we have another podium in the bag with two more races in the championship where we can fight to win races, so we have to be happy about this race.”
Proud of this season, it has been very different to 2021?
“Yeah, in the end like you say, it’s not like it was in Moto3. In the end, I remembered that in Sachsenring maybe I had 83 points of gap to second place. It was quite crazy, also in Portimao I was quite nervous because it was a race after I lost a lot of points in the last part of the championship. Also I was a kid, when I arrived to this championship I was 16 and now I’m close to 20, so it’s very different. Also, last year I made a lot of mistakes by Round 5 we had had close to 20 crashes, which is a lot.
“In the end, this is my third year with Aki (Ajo) working with him and this year we decided to start from zero and put all the mistakes in one box and say that nothing can get out from that box. It’s true that we’ve made mistakes during the season, like in Le Mans and in Australia. Not everything is easy, but, and I don’t know what to say in the end, the team have worked super well. It’s true that last year we suffered a lot to try to find the right setting in the bike and also I was too small and too light to be able to ride in Moto2. We made a big step in the winter in the preseason and because of this I think we’ve improved in general and in the head. We know what not to do, more than we know what to do. We’ve taken a lot of experience from last year and played with this.”
Aki Ajo – Red Bull KTM Ajo Team Principal
“Thanks Pedro! It has been impressive three years to work with him and a guy who surprises us every day with his matureness and cleverness. The most enjoyable thing is not only winning the two titles together but maybe more the feeling what we’ve created together with Pedro, his family and the whole team. I also really want to thank the guys for all their big effort and support all the way through 2023. Our partners have also contributed so much and the relationship with Pierer Mobility management and Red Bull is as close as ever. We’re happy to be a successful part of the KTM GP Academy and Pedro should have a brilliant future in MotoGP. It will be fascinating to see how he will do next season and in the future.”
Pit Beirer – KTM Motorsports Director
“A big congratulations both to Pedro and also Aki for the high standards that never drop. When we think of some of the racers that have come through the Red Bull KTM Ajo team then it makes us very proud and privileged to have this strong relationship. As for Pedro, what more can we say about this special talent? It says a lot that we believe he can move to the MotoGP class at 19, and his record through Moto3 and Moto2 means he might be a once in a generation star. His second Moto2 season has been very impressive and it’s unbelievable that he has outgrown the class already. It’s really exciting to see what he can do in the coming years and where Aki and his loyal guys can work with their next project.”
Acosta got his first motorbike at five years old but took a little time to really fall in love. Once he did, his ascent started to gain traction and by 2017 he was wrapping up the pre-Moto3 title in Spain with two races to spare. He then moved into the FIM Moto3 Junior World Championship, now JuniorGP, for 2018 and made a big step in that Championship the following season – alongside debuting in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.
The Rookies was where he began to really create the hype that has since followed him through the ranks. After finishing his first season as runner up with three wins and five podiums, 2020 then saw Acosta win the first six races in the Rookies and take the title with plenty of time to spare.
Making his debut in the Moto3 World Championship in 2021, then, came with even more hype, and that was proven entirely correct. On his Grand Prix debut he took second place and started his career on the podium, just 0.042s off the win, and second time out, Acosta won. From pitlane.
More than two years later, that victory remains worthy of goosebumps and the season overall does too – with history made nearly every weekend. Acosta became the first rider to take the title in his rookie season in the 125cc/Moto3 class since Loris Capirossi in 1990.
He moved to Moto2 for 2022, and if anyone had doubts about the hype surrounding the Spaniard, the time to surrender them had come. In a new year and a new class, Acosta was the same sensation as he smashed the lap record in testing at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Still, it was a tougher start to the races than he’d expected and then came some injury struggles, before he won his first Moto2 race at Mugello and rounded out the season with a second victory in Valencia. He looks back on his intermediate class debut having expected more, but for the rest it said more than enough, and then came 2023.
The favourite from the off, the first part of the season saw Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) mount a challenge against Acosta but by summer break, the number 37 had taken back the lead and started to pull clear. From there, he only continued to hammer home his advantage, culminating in his second crown secured in style. Seven wins, 14 podiums and more history made – Pedro Acosta is the 2023 FIM Moto2 World Champion! Next stop: MotoGP…!
Pedro Acosta Statistics
Aged 19 years and 171 days old, Acosta becomes the second-youngest intermediate class World Champion behind MotoGP Legend Dani Pedrosa (19 years and 18 days old) in 2004.
However, Acosta is the youngest Moto2 World Champion ahead of Marc Marquez (19 years and 254 days old) in 2012.
He becomes the second rider to clinch the Moto2 World Championship having previously clinched the Moto3 title (2021), along with Alex Marquez (Moto3/2014 and Moto2/2019).
In addition, Acosta becomes the second former Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup winner to clinch the Moto2 title along with Johann Zarco, the first ever Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Winner in 2007 and two-time Moto2 World Champion (2015 and 2016).
Aged 18 years and 4 days old at the 2022 Italian GP, Acosta is the youngest intermediate class winner ahead of Marc Marquez (18 years and 87 days old at the 2011 French GP).
With 10 wins in Moto2 so far, Acosta is tied in fifth place on the list of riders with the most wins in the class with Pol Espargaro and Sam Lowes.
Acosta has stood on the podium 14 times so far this season (more than any other rider) and 19 times in Moto2. He is now tied in 11th place on the list of riders with most podiums in the class with Andrea Iannone. If he gets two more in the two remaining races, he will surpass 2024 teammate Augusto Fernandez (20) and equal Franco Morbidelli and Miguel Oliveira, who both have 21.
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