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MotoGP Portimao II: '‘I can't believe it, I couldn't stop crying’ - Acosta

From his debut on the world stage on March 26th, it took Red Bull KTM’s Pedro Acosta just seven months to achieve his dream of becoming World Champion.

The first rookie rider to win the 125cc/Moto3 crown, with one race of 2021 left outstanding, Acosta is still waiting for the reality to sink in. From the outset of this season he was spoken about as a sensation. Achieving his maiden win on only his second race as part of the MotoGP paddock - the season opener he secured a mere second! - the now 17-year-old went on to take three victories in succession and six in total on his way to the title, but he certainly didn’t have it all his own way.

After a rollercoaster of a season, it seems fitting that he would secure the championship at the circuit with the same nickname - the Spaniard having spent eight races adrift of the podium albeit only one outside of the top 10 with one further DNF. His late-season adversary Dennis Foggia put up a determined fight in the closing stages of 2021 before being cruelly denied a battle to the finish in Sunday’s dramatic decider.


With less than 24 hours to digest his historical achievement, Acosta openly admits “It will take a couple of days to take it all in.”

“I can’t believe it yet,” he admitted. “I thought about everything that has happened in the last year. It has been a very tough season because, at the beginning, few people believed in me making the move up to the World Championship. That was what came to mind as I crossed the finish line. Afterwards, I couldn’t stop crying during the entire lap of honour.

“This title has been thanks to the work we have done, because without the team I am nobody,” he continued. “Little by little we have been achieving certain goals, and that has helped make this title possible. Above all, we have achieved it thanks to the great work that each and every one of the team members have done.

“The truth is that I didn’t know that was the case,” Acosta said when asked about becoming the first rookie to achieve the success. “I’m not thinking about it right now either. I am still trying to assimilate everything that happened yesterday.

“The team has been essential. They have given me incredible confidence, from the first tests up until now. They have always trusted in me and have helped me in everything I have needed. They have never lost their smiles - and that was important. Both my team and my inner circle have been the ones who have led me on the right path and have made me a champion today.

“There were races in which we were close, but we couldn’t get it done, and that was difficult for us. However, this year we have made steady progress and there has not been a time that I can consider ‘bad’ as such. We needed to learn from our mistakes and we will keep learning.

“The beginning of the year was incredible [but] I will also remember the hard times, because we have learned a lot thanks to them. I prefer to look at the season in general, because it has been very good both for learning and for getting better.”

2022 won’t see Acosta defend his title in Moto3 as another rookie year awaits, this time in Moto2. The Spaniard will maintain some continuity, however as he progresses within the KTM Ajo team that has supported him so well this year.

“I am looking forward to the first sessions testing the [Moto2] bike,” he said looking ahead to his new challenge. “Although I don’t expect anything in particular, I want to continue learning and enjoying myself on the bike. I can’t wait to start working for next season.”

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