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MotoGP, Acosta: "I keep my feet on the ground, fishermen back home remind me what real life is like."

"Me magic? Poncharal says that because he's happy, I'm waiting for him to get angry. Pedrosa wants to follow me? I have more to learn from him than the other way around. A boxing match between Lorenzo and Dani? I'm betting on Pedrosa, he's small and Jorge is out of shape."

MotoGP: Acosta:

Two podiums, a 2nd place in Austin and a 3rd in Portimao: this is the haul that rookie Pedro Acosta can already show off after three races, in a start of the championship in which the very young GasGas team rider has already crossed the wheels of his KTM with those of riders of the caliber of Bagnaia, Marquez, Martin. That the Spaniard would be a competitive tsunami, in a MotoGP that this year is the scene of a story with many protagonists, we expected. That he would be so from the first races, however, was by no means a foregone conclusion, a testament to the talent of the 19-year-old who is already aiming to sweep several records.

The first record he could break already here in Jerez, beating that of a certain Marc Marquez, but even if he failed he would have time until Sachsenring. Victory or no victory in any case, Pedro Acosta is proving to be an extremely magnetic character, on and off the track, so much so that he is attracting compliments and interest on himself even from past champions such as Dani Pedrosa, present in Jerez with a wild card and already intent on seeing it through on the track and revealing its secrets. At the end of the day, however, perhaps as Randy Mamola says what counts is having fun, and Acosta is doing just that, racking up podiums in the process, waiting for his first consecration.

Jerez was one of the circuits where KTM made a real show of strength last season.
"Of course this makes me want to have a good race even more," Pedro explains , "this circuit for us Spaniards is the most anticipated in the first half of the season, last year Brad and Jack were very fast, as was Dani with the wildcard. It's easy to get carried away with enthusiasm when the bike is working, but I would like to wait to see what happens in the next few days. We had a good weekend in Austin, but we still need to work on certain aspects calmly, like the corner exit that is now costing me something. Then there will also be Pedrosa on the track, an additional rival rather than a help."

Jerez is a circuit famous for duels between riders on the last lap, Doohan and Criville in 1996, Rossi and Gibernau in 2005, Lorenzo and Pedrosa in 2010, Marquez and Lorenzo in 2013... do you think your name will be on this list after Sunday's race?
"It's hard to say, first let's see how we are in tomorrow's FP1, but there are still many unknowns, we will first have to understand the tires and the track, and then work on the bike setup.

We are just in our fourth circuit this season and your growth in MotoGP has been very fast, what difference did you see between the first and last race you raced?
"Some difference there was maybe, I am very focused on improving my riding style, we are on the right track. Certainly eliminating aerodynamic parts or electronics, at least for me or for a rookie would be a problem, the focus is to concentrate on your own sensations and find the right speed to face the weekend."

Dani Pedrosa has helped KTM a lot in its development and you in your growth as a rider. He will be on the track this weekend, did he give you any advice on a track where he has won a lot in the past?
"Actually not many, we talked more about the bike, but it's nice to be able to share with him what I think. But it's something that is always valuable, not just here in Jerez, his experience is incredibly valuable."

He himself said he wants to follow you to see what you do on the bike. Is that a thought that pleases you or would you rather be the one following him?
"His experience on a MotoGP bike is not in question. He's not just any rider, he has a history, from his 125 and 250 days, every time I talk to him it's like opening a history book, but I think I would have more to learn from him than the other way around."

Jorge Lorenzo challenged him to a boxing match, who would you bet on?
"On Dani, because he's small, it would be easy for him to get close and throw a few punches, when you're tall it's harder to move. And then Jorge is not in the best physical condition right now," the Spaniard jokes again.

What if it was you challenging someone in the paddock?
"I don't know, Maybe Oncu, for sure it would be a show."

According to Hervé Poncharal, you have something magical, something that perhaps could be useful to the other KTMs as well.
"He says that because now he is happy, now we have to wait to see what he will say when he is angry! - jokes the Spaniard - I don't think we are doing something really different from what the other riders in KTM are doing. Jack and Brad have a lot of experience, and Jack comes from another factory. I have been watching them for a long time to learn as much as I can, today we are in a favorable position but it is easy to lose that advantage."

Massimo Rivola is convinced, however, that the Aprilia is now the most competitive bike on the track, what do you think?
"I don't expect him to say anything else because he works on it (laughs), I might say it's the GasGas one."

You often talk about wanting to keep your feet firmly on the ground in terms of expectations. How difficult is it to do that now after such an explosive start to the season?
"It's actually not that difficult, every time I go home I see fishermen trying to make a living, I get to see people's real lives outside of all this."

How confident do you feel you are with the bike after the first three races?
"It's hard to give a grade, in terms of traction I would say 10 out of 10, but as for the bike itself there are so many details that can vary, it's still early to have a clear idea of where we are."

There is also the possibility of you being on the factory team next year.
"As I've always said, it's crucial to have a trusting relationship with your team, to the point where you trust what they do without asking why. I have always said that wherever I go I would want the men I work with to follow me."

Many people are expecting your first MotoGP win here in Jerez.
"I've been waiting for it since the first race, although I really like this circuit I will only know my potential tomorrow morning after FP1. The first outing, the first impression of the circuit, is very important for me to see how I relate to the bike, the lines and everything else. Obviously the team is prepared, I will get on the bike and do my own, however I think it could be a favorable weekend."

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