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MotoGP, Acosta: "Ducati is the unknown, Pecco would have won last year without the crash"

"Aprilia and KTM also competitive. I was ready for the win already in Le Mans, I didn't lose confidence with the crash." Joked about Aleix: "He deserves it, he hasn't had an easy career, but I hope tomorrow he goes slower! . Wish for my birthday tomorrow? If I say it then it doesn't come true."

MotoGP: Acosta:

On the first day of free practice in Barcelona, Pedro Acosta again showed his talent on the GasGas team's KTM. The Spaniard punched his provisional ticket for direct access to Q2 with the third best time, behind Aleix's Aprilia and Binder's KTM. The crash at Le Mans is already a thing of the past while Acosta, sixth in the standings, would like to treat himself to his first sprint win for his birthday.

Not an easy gift to win, however, on a circuit where the Aprilias already won a double last year and where the KTMs of Binder and Miller also showed their teeth. Great unknown instead the Ducatis, although on the competitiveness of Martin and Bagnaia Pedro has no doubts, "if Pecco had not fallen last year he would have won," he will say later. Despite the fact that Marquez is temporarily out of Q2, for the KTM rookie the unknowns remain many, although the sensations on the bike are gradually getting better and better and the first victory in the premier class seems ever closer.

"I work with competitive people, arriving in MotoGP in this way makes things a little easier for you is clear - intervenes Acosta - It's two weekends that we are fast so now it's just a matter of finding that margin that we are missing, the goal tomorrow is to be on the front row in qualifying. Since Le Mans I have been working a lot to customize the setup of the bike we are improving the base, the electronics and the sensations on the track. Compared to the first race where I was not clear about many things, now little by little everything is normalizing. That's why I said that already in Le Mans we were ready to get a victory even if we then fell. It's the snowball principle, we keep improving."

How did the KTM perform here in Barcelona?
"This is the track with some of the worst grip all season and it was like that for me on the MotoGP as well. So it is difficult to predict tire wear. If you ride without stopping the tires react well, but as soon as you stop in the pits they become unpredictable on the second exit, it's as if they are completely different tires."

It seems that the KTMs have an advantage over the Ducatis here, even Miller and Binder are in Q2.
"Yes compared to last year there have been steps forward, the concept of the bike has improved. I haven't had a chance to follow the Ducatis today so I don't know, last year Pecco was ready to win if he hadn't crashed, so we'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if they've hidden their cards today to show them on Saturday. It will be an unknown to figure out how to beat the Ducatis tomorrow but I know I can be fast."

Your boxmate complained about a stability problem with the bike.
"It is one of the aspects we have improved. Although it must be admitted that we are very different riders, he is tall and heavier, sometimes even if we use the same setting he is completely off the bike so it is difficult to compare."

Does this result lift your spirits after the crash in Le Mans?
"I haven't lost confidence on the bike since then, right now everything is working as it should."

You said you were ready for victory in Le Mans, what are your expectations for this race weekend?
"It's hard to say before tomorrow morning, even Vinales has a very competitive pace, the same goes for Aleix. Besides the Aprilias there are the other KTMs, and of course we can't forget about Martin and Bagnaia so it won't be an easy race."

Aleix was the fastest today, only yesterday he announced his retirement at the end of the season.
"I'm happy for him, it's his home GP. He is very motivated and at the end he deserves it, he did not have the easiest career in the world. His competitiveness is also the result of experience and a lot of work, few have raced as long as he has, but I hope tomorrow he goes slower," the Spaniard then jokes.

Tomorrow will be your birthday, what do you wish for?
"If I told you then it doesn't come true."

Automatic Translation by DeepL

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