Pedro Acosta’s first day aboard “f*cking fast” MotoGP bike

Pedro Acosta is one of the hottest talents in motorcycle racing, and you can check out his debut on a MotoGP bike in a new video 

Pedro Acosta, 2024 MotoGP Valencia test. - Gold and Goose

Pedro Acosta’s move up to the premier class of Grand Prix racing is perhaps the most anticipated since Marc Marquez, and his exploits at last November’s Valencia test can be viewed from a behind-the-scenes perspective thanks to a new video published by MotoGP.

The first scene of the video is perhaps worth some note all in itself. Giacomo Guidotti, currently Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s team manager, embraces Acosta as the Spaniard heads into the Tech3 GasGas Factory Racing garage dressed in the Spanish brand’s red for the first time. Acosta is KTM’s golden child, the major hope of the Mattighofen management which is still in search of its first MotoGP title. He may be under the management of Nicolas Goyon in Herve Poncharal’s GasGas-sponsored Tech3 team for now, but Acosta’s destiny lies in the blue and orange of Red Bull KTM.

For now, though, the priority for Acosta is adjusting to his new machinery. MotoGP bikes in general are a shock to ride for the first time for newcomers. 300bhp, carbon brakes, conventional and ground effect aerodynamics, and manually operated ride height adjustment makes them totally different from the comparatively conventional Triumph-powered Moto2 Kalex Acosta has arrived from, and that’s before you even cast your eyes over to the Michelin tyres. In addition to that, Acosta is not jumping on a versatile Ducati, or a rider-friendly inline-four Yamaha, but an aggressive, narrow-angle-V4 KTM RC16 - perhaps the most aggressive and hard-to-manage MotoGP bike aside from the recently lacklustre Honda RC213V.

While Acosta acknowledges the bike as “f*cking fast”, he also said he expected it to be faster. It’s hard to imagine the 20-year-old has been underwhelmed by 300bhp, or thereabouts, but perhaps his comment is directed at the linear way in which the RC16 delivers its power, which creates a ‘slower’ feeling. Creating a smooth power delivery has been one of the keys to Ducati’s success, and KTM is therefore on a mission to try and match and then surpass the Italians in this department. 

Acosta was only six laps into riding a MotoGP bike when he was having a battle through the final corner and onto the front straight with Aprilia's Maverick Vinales. By the end of the day, Vinales was fastest, while Acosta was 18th, a respectable 1.223 seconds off the pace.

The #31 (his usual #37 is taken by Augusto Fernandez, of all people) will have his next chance to jump on the KTM RC16 at the Sepang Shakedown test on 3-4 February, ahead of the official Sepang Test on 6-8 February. The 2024 MotoGP World Championship will begin with the Qatar Grand Prix on 8-10 March.

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