KTM: ‘Two aspects’ make Pedro Acosta ‘very unique’

KTM technical boss says "two aspects" of Pedro Acosta's riding style make him "very unique".

Pedro Acosta, MotoGP, Spanish MotoGP, 26 April
Pedro Acosta, MotoGP, Spanish MotoGP, 26 April

KTM MotoGP technical boss Sebastian Risse is impressed - but not surprised - by rookie star Pedro Acosta’s early heroics in the premier class.

The former Moto3 and reigning Moto2 world champion has finished in the top three at the last three events, with grand prix podiums at Portimao and COTA followed by runner-up in the Jerez Sprint.

Currently riding an RC16 for the GASGAS-branded Tech3 team, teenager Acosta holds fourth in the world championship, as the top ‘KTM’ rider.

“Honestly, I am not surprised but I am very, very impressed,” Risse told MotoGP.com

“In the other classes you could see how quick this guy is learning. How adaptive he is.

“But with other riders you have seen that changing into MotoGP is a different thing. It can go either way.

“Usually you have to force a rookie to stay calm, to keep the bike set-up, not turn it upside-down, and to learn instead.

“Pedro is the opposite. He is so content about the bike, and what he has.

“He is so eager to just get the maximum out of it, and to focus on what he can do, before reacting on the technical side. He is very calm and very confident.”

In terms of what makes Acosta special on track, Risse revealed:

“He has a very unique style. He brakes very late. But very calm, very much under control. He stops the bike, he doesn’t need a bike that stops extremely well.

“Then, he has a unique style of how he is using his body to handle the bike to turn.

“These two aspects make him very unique.

“I am convinced he will fight for the title, but it is too early to discuss when.

“We need to give him time. He needs to take his time. And really get his full potential in this class. And I’m sure he will win.”

Casting his eye more broadly over the RC16 project, Risse feels they have “a very strong, or maybe even the strongest, engine at the moment”.

They have also “fixed the weak points” of last year’s aero, but “kept the strong points."

Unlike Aprilia, KTM is yet to win a Sprint or Grand Prix race this season.

But the constructors’ table has KTM second only to Ducati, a ranking Risse agrees with.

“At the moment, it looks like we are the second strongest manufacturer.

"Our top rider is usually the first non-Ducati rider. But it means we have to find a step to really fight the top Ducatis,” he said.

“We knew, we expected, it would not be easy. Everyone is trying very hard. You have ups and downs. 

"What is particular and characteristic about KTM is that we have very high targets. We will win. It’s a matter of time.”

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