KTM motorsports director Pit Beirer praised the performance of the factory’s rookie signing Pedro Acosta during the recent Sepang MotoGP test.
After a solid premier-class debut at Valencia last November, Acosta – whose two titles during three seasons in the junior classes beat even the achievements of Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi – came out swinging at Sepang.
Acosta had outpaced KTM’s star test riders Dani Pedrosa and Pol Espargaro by the final day of the Shakedown, then continued to improve over all three days of the Official test.
The Spanish teenager finished ninth overall, 0.683s from Ducati test leader and reigning champion Francesco Bagnaia but just a fraction from the top KTM of Brad Binder.
Acosta’s race simulation was also all but equal with Binder, who took KTM to a new high of fourth in last year’s standings.
“I saw what all of you guys saw: He just stepped in and did fantastic things,” Beirer said.
“Every day he became better and better and better during all the six days. Showing a lap time at the end which is two-tenths faster than the pole position at the end of last year.
“So the level where he steps into this class is really, really high. Everybody talked about him, how many records he had broken in the other classes, how young he is. But then it’s still of course always interesting to see what actually happens when you move from Moto2 to MotoGP.
“Things can go better than expected, but they can also become really difficult. But he’s just amazing.”
The former motorcross grand prix star added: “There are some natural things in that boy which are just amazing. Even if you go to a wind tunnel and normally you have to school the rider on what to do and not to do to find one more little detail.
“He just jumps on the bike and he does everything perfect. Even in the wind tunnel, he does it pretty perfect!
“His [Sepang] lap time was impressive but how he spoke to the engineers was also impressive. That maybe has more value than the raw speed, which we knew would be there, for his future in the sport. How he can announce what he wants for himself and how he wants to have his motorcycle set-up.”
Beirer, who insists his current goal is to retain all of the factory’s current riders for 2025, added that Acosta’s fellow RC16 riders will also benefit should he carry the Sepang form into the racing season.
“If Brad is on the podium and Pedro goes faster, I think we will manage the problem! But anyway, I think also we should not make too much pressure now for this boy because he’s still young, and coming into the class,” Beirer said.
“[From the point of view of] all our riders, I’m totally sure he will make us better, Not because he puts pressure on somebody, but with his data and his riding, I think that’s also something all of our riders can look over. And also Pedro will look at the data of Brad for example.
“Nothing is better for us than like good competition within the four riders, pushing each other….
Read More: KTM: Pedro Acosta “did fantastic things” at Sepang, “perfect even in the wind 2024-02-12 15:21:06