2024 MotoGP title «not the priority» as expectations mount

Although there were high hopes for Acosta given his stellar record in junior categories, the Tech3 GasGas rider has defined even the loftiest of expectations by becoming the youngest rider to score back-to-back podiums, as he followed his third place in Portugal last month with a second-place finish in the Americas GP on Sunday.

This has propelled the Spaniard to fourth in the standings, 26 points behind championship leader Jorge Martin on Pramac but ahead of defending champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) and the factory KTM of Brad Binder.

With Acosta showing he can take the fight to the very best in the premier class, there have been suggestions that he could potentially win the title in his rookie season — something not witnessed since Marc Marquez’s sensational debut campaign with the factory Honda team in 2013.

But the 19-year-old is not allowing himself to be weighed down by expectations, as he insists his focus at the moment is not on mounting a title bid.

«Let’s start to think [about the next round] in Jerez and not about the championship,» he said. «All the people talking around, it’s only pressure. 

«We are in a sweet moment with the bike, with the team, with Pierer Mobility. 

«Let’s enjoy this moment and cross the fingers for sure if we can fight for the championship. It’s a long season, but it’s not the priority now.»

Pedro Acosta, Red Bull GASGAS Tech3

Pedro Acosta, Red Bull GASGAS Tech3

Photo by: Rob Gray / Polarity Photo

Acosta led the early stages of Sunday’s grand prix at the Circuit of Americas and returned to the front when Marquez crashed out on lap 11 with what he described as an ‘unexpected brake problem’.

But a maiden MotoGP win wasn’t to be for Acosta in Austin, as polesitter Maverick Vinales recovered from a poor start to snatch the top spot on lap 13.

Asked if he thought he could catch the Aprilia rider late in the race, the reigning Moto2 champion conceded that his countryman was in a different league to the rest of the field.

«No one in this world can catch him today,» he said of Vinales. «You only have to see the pace. Also, when I see him from [Saturday], the pace that he had in the sprint, [he] was on another world. 

«It was difficult. I tried, when [he] passed me I tried to block him. But he was really good. 

«Also, I was talking with him and when he passed me I was trying to brake harder into Turn 12 and it was impossible. Today was not my day.»

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