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Acosta worse than Marquez and better than Rossi: outstanding debuts in MotoGP

Valentino and Stoner didn't see the finish line in their first race in the Premier Class. Biaggi won, Lorenzo and Pedrosa made the podium. Pedro still has 9 races left to break Marc's record in precocity.

MotoGP: Acosta worse than Marquez and better than Rossi: outstanding debuts in MotoGP

A countless number was keeping an eye on Pedro Acosta in Qatar: a top-notch MotoGP rookie, and one who's predestined for many. And the Spanish rider didn't disappoint, putting himself in the spotlight starting from practice (withdirect access in the Q2) and continuing to perform well, first in the sprint (8th) and then in the race (9th). The GasGas rookie wasn't just convincing with his performance but also with his behavior: always on the attack and ready to take risks. The save during practice created predictable comparisons with Marc Marquez and, on Sunday, he had the satisfaction of overtaking the champion before waning in the finale.

But Pedro still left Qatar with the first MotoGP record in his pocket: the youngest rider to have set the fastest lap in a race. He did it at 19 years and 290 days of age, beating the previous record that belonged to Quartararo (19 years and 324 days). The French rider had also achieved it in his debut race in the Premier Class, in Qatar in 2019, as well.

Many are now wondering if Acosta will be able to beat Marquez as the youngest winner of a MotoGP Grand Prix. Marc had broken the ice at 20 years and 62 days of age, which means Pedro will have until the Sachsenring to try. Namely, the 10th race. Not an impossible feat at all if we take into consideration the debut season of several champions in recent years.

Acosta's 9th place is certainly not a record. We have to take into account a certain Max Biaggi, who was able to win at Suzuka during his first race in the 500. A result that no one after him was able to repeat. Pedrosa and Lorenzo came close, both in 2nd place in their debuts, but also Marc Marquez in 3rd. On the other hand, high-level champions, like Rossi, Stoner, and Bagnaia, had never even seen the finish line their first time. Dovizioso, instead, had come close to a podium finish, while Quartararo had failed to score points, and Martin had gotten only one. Lastly, Joan Mir had done better than the last two riders mentioned, with an honorable 8th place.

Anything can happen in a debut. The important thing is to hit the big target as quickly as possible. Corsair aside, Marquez scored his first win in his 2nd race (in his beloved Austin), Lorenzo in his 3rd, and Pedrosa in his 4th. Valentino had to wait longer: 9 Grands Prixs. Martin did better than Vale, already winning in his 6th.

Stoner was left high and dry throughout his debut year, although he won in the one following his debut on the Ducati, in his 18th GP in the Premier Class. Quartararo had to, instead, wait 20 races to win one, Dovizioso 28, and Mir 29 (his only success). The "negative" record goes to Bagnaia, when he reached the top step of the podium at his 42nd GP. But, from then on, Pecco has been non-stop. And, from his success in Aragon to date, he's won 19 races out of  47: more than 50%.

If a good beginning bodes well, a swallow does not a summer make: it is the beauty of worldy wisdom that has an opinion about everything and the opposite of everything. Every rider has his own story and his own pace. Sometimes they burn bridges, sometimes they wait. Acosta certainly has a glowing future ahead of him, but even he can't say when his will finally burn bright.


Translated by Leila Myftija

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