"He's phenomenal" - Acosta's rivals laud maiden podium

After becoming the third youngest premier class podium finisher, motogp.com got the thoughts of some of the rookie's fellow MotoGP™ competitors on the performance

Sometimes a rider is just a bit different to the rest. Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) are a quintet from the modern MotoGP™ era that illustrates exactly that. 

Now, Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3) is etching his name alongside those names at a rapid rate. He's got a long way to go to match their achievements in MotoGP™, but at 19 years old, the two-time World Champion is taking the Grand Prix world by storm. 

His opening weekend in Qatar was sublime. Passing an eight-time World Champion and being able to sniff a podium in your first race isn't normal. But Acosta isn't normal. There isn't anything normal about how he's wrestling his GASGAS MotoGP™ thoroughbred around these special ribbons of asphalt. He makes it look like a walk in the park. 


And he proved he isn't just any rider again at a track where taming a 300bhp monster is arguably at its most difficult: Portimao. The undulating, ferocious rollercoaster is a 4.49km white-knuckle ride that's quickly becoming Acosta's stomping ground. He's won three times there already and now has a MotoGP™ rostrum to his name in the Algarve. That's some record. 

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The rider and bike have to be singing from the same hymn sheet if you're going to be fast at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, and my word was that the case for Acosta. Watching the #31 attack and pass fellow World Champions - Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Marc Marquez and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) - on Sunday was magic. Three of the best riders in MotoGP™ unable to keep tabs on a rookie, at a circuit as difficult as Portimao's gem. Unbelievable. 

After becoming the third youngest rider in history to claim a premier class podium, motogp.com got the thoughts from some of his rivals about Acosta and his achievement. It's safe to say none of his rivals are surprised by Acosta's speed. 

Johann Zarco (Castrol Honda LCR): "He’s amazing, the way he rides the bike and this race he seems he overtook many riders and this is very impressive. Since arriving in Moto3™ he’s doing incredible things. He missed the first title in Moto2™ because he got a big injury but then straight after in the second year he got the title.

"And this year he will do many podiums, he only has eight races to be the youngest guy to win a race and he will try to do it. I’m pretty happy for him, pretty happy for Tech3, because all this French group, I know them well and I said to them at the beginning of the year that they will enjoy it and I’m happy for them." 

Marc Marquez: "You can see with Pedro that he’s riding with that instinct. With no fear. He’s just pushing the bike and it doesn’t matter what, and today he did an incredible race and he was riding in a very good way. So yeah, impressive. But I already said before Qatar, he will be one of the names in the future, but also in the present." 

Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™): "Yeah we clearly saw from the beginning that he was really fast. Today was his first podium but I think that soon he will be there for his first victory." 

Brad Binder: "Awesome. I knew it was just a matter of time to see on the podium. From his first test on the bike, he has been super clean, he looked confident. He rides so well, he’s special.”

Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing): "First of all, I’m not surprised. He reminds me a bit of myself, as I also finished third in my second race. For sure he will be one of the toughest guys to beat in the future. But it’s not a surprise because we all know he has the talent. And he is here today with us." 

August Fernandez (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3): "Congrats to Pedro. We knew he was going to adapt quickly to the class but not like that. He’s breaking expectations, but yeah, congrats to him and to the team."

Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team): "He’s fantastic. More in the way that he achieved it, the way he was managing the tyres at the end, doing a race from less to more, that is something impressive. He has a very good team around him, he’s at a super good level and yeah, he’s doing things that not everyone is able to do. Congrats to him and I hope in the next races and soon to be close to these guys."

Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing): That’s him in a nutshell isn’t it. He’s phenomenal. He came past and I’d be lying if I wasn’t swinging off and trying to hang in there with him and Brad obviously on the same machines, but I didn’t have enough for them today. Like I said I really was trying, I started having a few moments and then I said, ‘You’re going to end up on your head here in a minute if you keep going,’ but no he rode fantastic, he looks fantastic on the bike.

"The style is impeccable that’s for sure, he has a bit of everything on the ground at every moment so he's got a bit of confidence that’s for sure and he’s riding well. It’s good to have that data, it's good to have the bike in a position where it’s been on the podium every week so we’ll keep plugging away at it."

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing): "It’s crazy. He’s not a normal guy we’ve said many many times, and he’s not a normal kid, he’s very, very fast. He’s doing amazing things, the way he rides the bike is crazy so it’s going to be very fun to see how many times he’ll need to win his first race."

Miguel Oliveira (Trackhouse Racing MotoGP™): "No surprise, no surprise. Pedro is riding quite well and you can see the KTM is a very competitive bike. He has the factory support so he has every ingredient to do what he is doing and I’m he’s a natural talent so no surprise at all." 

As Zarco alluded to, Acosta has until the Sachsenring to break Marc Marquez's youngest-ever premier class winner record. There won't be many who would bet against the rookie sensation from doing just that, and there won't be many who would be surprised to see it happen either. That's a mark of just how good the Spaniard is.