KTM has confirmed that Moto3 rookie star Pedro Acosta will progress to Moto2 next season, where he will be joined by Augusto Fernandez in the Red Bull KTM Ajo team.

The pair will be replacing MotoGP-bound Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez, currently first and second respectively in the 2021 Moto2 standings, who are joining Tech3 KTM next season.

Acosta, 17, has already taken five wins for Red Bull KTM Ajo during what will now be his one and only Moto3 World Championship campaign, to hold a 46-point title lead over nearest rival Sergio Garcia.

“Jumping to Moto2 was my goal because I believe it’s the step I need to make," Acosta said. "Of course, there is always more to learn - and I could do that in Moto3 - but when it comes to details and my development as a rider then it feels like the right move.

"It’s a big advantage to stay in the Red Bull KTM Ajo team as we now have a year of working together and it’s always important to keep a good and positive feeling with the people around you. The team have really helped me in my first world championship year.

"It’s been a big step into the world championship but I worked for it and I’m happy with how things have been going.”

Fernandez, 23, never raced in Moto3 but is currently competing in his third full season of Moto2, where he sits sixth in the world championship with three podiums for Marc VDS (which recently announced the signing of Tony Arbolino for 2022).

“I’m really happy and satisfied to be joining Red Bull KTM Ajo," Fernandez said. "The team has been a reference in the category now for many years by winning races and fighting for championships. I think that experience of going for titles will really help me next year and I’m already looking forward to working with them.”

KTM Motorsport Director Pit Beirer said: “We are very pleased to announce the Moto2 rider line-up with Pedro Acosta and Augusto Fernandez for our KTM GP Academy.

"Together with Red Bull KTM Ajo we have the best possible structure to support both riders in their next challenge. Aki Ajo and his team have played a fundamental role in the careers of many riders and we can be proud to have him by our side for the next project in rider development.

"It is a great pleasure to support Pedro's desire to move up from Moto3 to the next category. What he has shown in his first World Championship season is outstanding and we believe he can keep the momentum going. He will continue to focus on his goal for 2021, but we will then tackle the next challenge together.

"With Augusto we welcome another promising talent to our Red Bull KTM family. He has shown great signs and we are happy to have an experienced Moto2 rider in our line-up.

"I am sure that under Aki's guidance he can make the next level in performance and we will celebrate some exciting results in the near future.”

Jaume Masia currently rides alongside Acosta in the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team.