Albert Arenas will join Pedro Acosta in the KTM Ajo team this year, taking the place of reigning champion Augusto Fernandez, who's ready to make his MotoGP debut. This is a great challenge for the 26-year-old from Girona who, after leaving the Aspar team, aims to join the group of top riders in the intermediate class, making up for two dark seasons. The Spanish rider has lots of grit and determination, but he doesn’t want to be put under too much pressure.
“More than a goal, I have a lifestyle, which consists in winning. I want to win in life, in everything, and I’m approaching this season with this idea,” Arenas said in an interview with Mundo Deportivo. “I don’t necessarily have to be like this, but I’m preparing myself one-hundred percent, and that’s how I’ll race. We’ll see what the result will be. I don’t want to create expectations. There’s also the fact that it’s a new team and a new bike, which I’m familiar with anyway. But everything is new, so I want to face the season with the values I have as a rider and as a sportsman. Then, these two years helped me learn how to manage what happens when you can’t win, and this helped me be stronger and understand what to do to improve on a personal level.”
Winning won’t be an easy mission, especially with a teammate like Pedro Acosta, who finished 5th in his first season in the Moto2. But coexisting with his fellow countryman seems to be an additional stimulus for Albert, who doesn’t look as if he's intimidated by competition.
“I see it as something positive, both for him and for me. When the riders of a team are competitive and push each other, the level of the team rises,” he explained. “Pedro has the weight of the category on his shoulders after last year, and it’s obvious that he’s one of the favorites. It’s also a way to learn, because I’ll be able to study one of the favorites up close.”
Moreover, there are new talents in 2023 like Foggia, Garcia, and Guevara who will be joining the intermediate class, further complicating the fight for the top positions. Will this be the hardest year ever?
“It could be. It’s something I never thought about,” Arenas replied. “The level rises every year. We’re getting stronger, the riders are getting better, and records are being broken. That’s why we have to be very focused on ourselves to get the best.”
But the change in category hasn’t been easy for everyone. The 26-year-old rider knows how that is, since he entered the Moto2 after winning the Moto3 title in 2020.
“2021 was a pretty tough year, especially because one of the goals when you’re a world champion is to keep winning. When there’s this difference in results, it’s not only hard in terms of numbers, but also on a personal level, because you realize that you can no longer reach the expectations that you had set for yourself,” the Spanish rider said. “It was also the result of a sum of circumstances. I didn’t adapt well to the bike or the team. Generally, I think it was difficult for everyone to understand what we had to achieve from the performance of the bike. I felt fast, but I wasn’t able to be efficient. These two years have helped me grow, and now I’m ready to get what I wanted from the Moto2 and, although it’s going to be later on, it’ll be just as satisfying.”
Albert wants to conquer the World Championship, and he won’t leave the middle class without doing so.
“Like I said before, my goal as a rider is always to win, and I won't consider entering the MotoGP without getting one-hundred percent from the category, and that means winning the title. What will be, will be. One of my goals is to get to MotoGP, but experiencing what I have now,” Arenas said, and added: “I think it’ll be a very competitive year, in which more than ten riders will win, like what has already happened in the past. I hope that Yamaha will wake up, that Ducati will want to reconfirm itself, and that Marc Marquez will return to being his best self, because what he does inspires the rest of us riders.”