Pedro Acosta: “Pierer Mobility bikes are going to be the surprise of the season”

Rookie Pedro Acosta after Qatar MotoGP test: “We need to be happy. We are making huge steps”, tips KTM/GASGAS to be "surprise of the season."

Pedro Acosta, Qatar MotoGP test, 20 February
Pedro Acosta, Qatar MotoGP test, 20 February

Pedro Acosta completed preparations for his rookie MotoGP campaign with a first full-length race simulation on the final night of the Qatar test.

It didn’t go entirely to plan with the reigning Moto2 champion suffering some front locking and falling on lap 4, before remounting to continue.

But it was another good learning experience for a rider who says his MotoGP knowledge level is only at ten per cent.

“We are on the way, we’ve only learned ten per cent of the whole MotoGP class,” Acosta said. “But we need to be happy because we've made our first race simulation. It was good.

“There were 2 or 3 laps when I made mistakes because of locking at Turn 1 and 16 and I crashed on lap 4. But the general pace in these 22 laps was great. Also, we were working with the fuel consumption maps to be ready to understand these things.”

Acosta finished the test in 15th place but was only a few tenths from the top RC16 of Brad Binder, in eighth.

“We need to be happy. We are making huge steps. We are +0.3 from the first KTM and going 0.7 faster than last year’s best KTM in qualifying. We are coming,” Acosta said.

The Spanish teenager refused to be drawn on any personal predictions for the upcoming season but tipped the KTM/GASGAS bikes to impress in 2024.

“Well, we have a world champion [Francesco Bagnaia] at the moment, but I think Pierer Mobility bikes are going to be the surprise of the season.”

KTM enjoyed its best MotoGP campaign to date last season with Brad Binder fourth in the riders’ standings and the RC16 second to Ducati in the constructors’.

Acosta, whose team-mate Augusto Fernandez was 21st at the test, will make his MotoGP race debut at Lusail on the weekend of March 8-10.

Average lap time during longer runs, Qatar Test - Day 2

  • Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 1m 52.106s (7 laps)
  • Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 1m 52.430s (7 laps)
  • Fabio di Giannantonio (Ducati) 1m 52.533s (11 laps)
  • Enea Bastianini (Ducati) 1m 52.541s (10 laps)
  • Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati) 1m 52.951s (9 laps)
  • Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) 1m 53.042s (10 laps)
  • Brad Binder (KTM) 1m 53.224s (22 laps)
  • Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) 1m 53.322s (17 laps)
  • Takaaki Nakagami (Honda) 1m 53.544s (14 laps)
  • Jack Miller (KTM) 1m 53.614s (8 laps)
  • Alex Marquez (Ducati) 1m 53.693s (18 laps)
  • Pedro Acosta (KTM) 1m 53.710s (18 laps*)
  • Luca Marini (Honda) 1m 53.840s (14 laps)
  • Johann Zarco (Honda) 1m 53.876s (10 laps)
  • Miguel Oliveira (Aprilia) 1m 54.005s (10 laps)
  • Augusto Fernandez (KTM) 1m 54.076 (13 laps*)

*Slow laps removed

di Giannantonio’s race-winning average lap time at Qatar 2023: 1m 53.667s

Pedro Acosta's Qatar test race simulation:

Lap 1: 1'54.208
Lap 2: 1'53.187
Lap 3: 1'53.562
Lap 4: 2'35.216*
Lap 5: 1'54.230
Lap 6: 1'53.318
Lap 7: 1'53.383
Lap 8: 1'53.372
Lap 9: 1'53.273
Lap 10: 1'54.501
Lap 11: 1'53.642
Lap 12: 1'53.748
Lap 13: 1'54.008
Lap 14: 1'56.187*
Lap 15: 1'53.463
Lap 16: 1'57.867*
Lap 17: 1'53.635
Lap 18: 1'53.656
Lap 19: 1'53.817
Lap 20: 1'53.543
Lap 21: 1'54.233

* Slow laps (mistakes)

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