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MotoGP, Acosta: "I had the time of my life, and I didn't even win the race!"

"The most fun race of my life, fiery, reminded me of the times in Moto3. Nice the overtaking of Marquez, but Vinales also had something more today, I'm happy for him, he also lived through difficult moments. KTM? We are getting there. The championship? I prefer to think about Jerez, the title is not a priority."

MotoGP: Acosta:

Talent, speed and a pinch of recklessness, these are the words that perhaps sum up Pedro Acosta, who in his third MotoGP round continues to put on a show on the track. Even at the Circuit of the Americas, Spain's "El Tiburon" did not back down, launching himself into the fray with the maturity of a veteran and the youthful recklessness of someone who is not satisfied. Maturity, that of a choice of tires that turned out to be apt in the management of the long race, and recklessness, demonstrated in those braking and those very hard braking with which the new promise of MotoGP racked up a series of breathtaking overtakes.

Taking the lead in the race from the very first laps, he initially gave way to riders of the caliber of Marquez and Martin, but kept his distance. Emblematic was the duel with Marc Marquez, which seems to have become a fixture between the two in these early stages of the season, then resolved with an experienced overtake by Marc just before he was betrayed by the front of his own GP23. Back then again in the lead of the race, Acosta then tried in vain to contain a disruptive Vinales, incontentible here in Austin. He thus won a second step on the podium, his second in three races, which brings the young Acosta fourth in the standings with 54 points. Asked about the potential to fight for the title, he dampens expectations: the KTM enfant prodige is here to have fun and of pressure he doesn't want to know, but for all intents and purposes he is one of the protagonists of this fiery season.

Today for the first time, and twice, you were leading the race.
"I had the time of my life! - begins the 19-year-old Spaniard - I'm really happy with the race and how the team worked. talking to my manager I remembered the times when I raced in Moto3 making many overtakes, it was definitely one of the most fun races of my life, and I didn't even win it! - he then jokes - today was not easy because we had never used the medium on the rear during the weekend and it was a big question mark, especially compared to Moto2 where we all generally use the same compound. But we knew given the data that it was the only option for me or I wouldn't have finished the race. However, I won't hide the fact that I was a bit nervous on the grid, my chief technician was talking to everyone, but in the end it went well and I had fun."

If you had to sum up this race with one word, which one would you choose?
"Fire! It was a fiery race, yesterday I made a disaster with the rear tire, after Marc and Martin overtook me the tire was destroyed. That's why we opted for the medium, and for that I also thank the team that has the experience to make these decisions."

In the last stages of the race you were pushing behind Maverick, when did you realize you had no way to catch him anymore?
"You only have to look at his race pace to understand. When I saw him already yesterday in the Sprint I knew he was going to be fast, today I tried whatever I had at my disposal, I tried to stay behind him and when he passed me I tried to close the corner to defend myself by braking very late at 12 but today it was impossible to beat him, it's clear that he had something more this weekend. I 'm really happy for him and his result, he's a rider who has always worked hard and has also been through some tough times in the last few years, so I'm happy for him and his family."

As a rookie, do lap times come easily or do you feel you are still very much on the edge?
"I've been saying it since the beginning of the year, with the KTM we're coming along, we're improving, although I don't know the limits of the bike well yet, in fact I'm not crashing much. That means we still have margin, but we are also not working too much on the setup, which is the same since Valencia. Obviously in KTM Binder remains the reference, but also all the information coming from the test team with Pol and Dani is fundamental, their data helps us so much, they are doing an incredible job. Now we are focusing a lot on riding style and front end management, which in MotoGP with Michelin are very different from Moto2."

You are also the last rider on the grid who has never tried MotoGP without aerodynamics, can that be an advantage?
"Pecco and Martin have also raced mainly with aerodynamics, however it is definitely all new to me and I don't have to readjust my riding style as for example riders like Marquez are doing. I honestly don't think about it, we are the 24 fastest riders in the world and we all face the same difficulties."

You said you learned a lot from Marc and Martin in the Sprint, what did you learn that you could take to the track today?
"Definitely I managed the tires better today, yesterday was a disaster while today when Martin passed me I was not pushing to the limit. Today I managed especially in T1 and it worked, while in the braking I tried to give space so I could cross the lines better coming out of the corners."

You fought a lot with Marc today until the moment he crashed.
"Today Marc made a beautiful overtake, I think he fell because in that part of the track on the inside there are always small patches of wetness and he was very bent. Anyway, it was great to fight with all these riders at a very high level, not just Marc. Maverick is also a very fast rider, I am more than happy to have fought with him."

This result now takes you to fourth place in the standings, in three races you have already shown a lot and some say you can already fight for the title.
"At the moment I prefer to think about the next round in Jerez more than the championship, all these expectations are just added pressure. We are living a positive moment with the team and the bike, I enjoy the moment and of course we have our fingers crossed for the title but for now it is not our priority."

Next stop Jerez, after Austin, what circuits are you looking at most on the calendar?
"Phillip island and Mugello are among my favorite circuits, but I don't think about them in terms of chances to win, thinking about them only brings pressure."


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