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The Tiger

The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger

The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger

MotoGP’s #31: Pedro Acosta


At just 20 years old, rookie Pedro Acosta, nicknamed “el tiburón de Mazarrón” (the shark of Mazarrón), has moved up from Moto3 up to MotoGP, joining GasGas Factory Racing Tech3 for the 2024 season. He has great talent and has shocked the fans of MotoGP as they see what skill he has even as a rookie.


What is MotoGP?

MotoGP started in 1949 and celebrated their 75th year anniversary this 2024 season. They hosted their 1000th Grand Prix at Le Mans, France, in 2023.

MotoGP is very similar to Formula 1 when it comes to races. However, instead of cars, MotoGP consists of motorcycle racing with 22 of the fastest riders competing for the world championship. Like F1, MotoGP has different classes beginning with Moto3, then Moto2, and finally, MotoGP. There’s also MotoE, which utilizes electric motorcycles as opposed to gas motorcycles. It is it’s own subcategory, meaning a rider who’s moving up to MotoGP does not have to go through MotoE, just Moto3 and Moto2. There are also many junior programs to help riders who plan on going to MotoGP, like the FIM (International Motorcycling Federation) MiniGP World Series and the FIM Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup.


For MotoGP’s 2024 season, Pedro Acosta joined the picture. In this article, I will introduce you to him and discuss his achievements so far.



Above is a picture of Pedro with his dad and one of his sisters back in 2013. The picture was taken at a Bacarot Race.

20 year old Pedro Acosta was born on May 25, 2004, in Mazarrón, Spain. In a short autobiography, he said his mom is a stay at home mom and his dad is a fisherman. He also included that he has two older sisters, Miriam and Maria.


When he was 5, his dad bought a motocross bike and that’s how his passion for riding started. He went through multiple different classes as a kid, including Minibikes, MiniGP, and MaxxiGP. Acosta has said before that he has always looked up to John Kocinski, a former MotoGP rider, and had a replica helmet of his as a kid. In a recent MotoGP video, Acosta met Kocinski and shared an image of the helmet. More recently, his helmet has included a shark design, which is connected to the shark symbol on one of his dad’s boats.




In 2017, Acosta was the PreMoto3 Champion of Spain and went up to the FIM JuniorGP World Championship the year after at age 14. In 2019, he was in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and was runner up, making the world champion Carlos Tatay. The year after, Acosta made a comeback and was the 2020 Red Bull Rookies Cup Champion.


To honor his Moto3 Championship, Pedro got a tattoo with his motorcycle number and the date he won, which was November 7, 2021. In an interview with MotoGP, he said that he didn’t want it in an obvious place and has yet to get one for his Moto2 win.

He moved up to Moto3 in 2021 and was world champion that same year. He kept ranking up and was a part of Moto2 in 2022. Although he didn’t win that season, he was still the Moto2 Rookie of the Year, which wasn’t his only accomplishment that season. He also became the youngest ever race winner with victory in Mugello, Italy, at the Mugello Circuit. He stayed in Moto2 for the 2023 season and took yet another title. In 2004, Dani Pedrosa was the youngest intermediate class champion, but Acosta took that same title, making him the youngest since Pedrosa in 2004.


For MotoGP’s 2024 season, Acosta became the fourth rider this century to make it to MotoGP as a World Champion in two classes.



The 2024 season so far

Above is 2019 MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez. Every year after the season and the World Champion is determined, a title is added to the MotoGP trophy called the “Tower of Champions”. The title contains the year, rider’s name, bike manufacturer, and the rider’s number.

MotoGP started its 2024 season on November 28, 2023. When a MotoGP season starts, a bunch of testing in different circuits take place. Testing takes place so riders and teams get information on their performance and bikes. There were 6 tests before the first Grand Prix and lasted up until March 1, 2024, skipping December and January.







The Lusail International Circuit cost $58 million to build. The circuit consists of 10 right corners, 6 left corners, and is 3.34 miles long and 39.37 feet wide.

The first Grand Prix race of the season was the Qatar Airways Grand Prix of Qatar held on March 8-March 10, 2024, at the Lusail International Circuit. Pedro got 9th place, having a gap of 11.595 between him and first place winner Francesco Bagnaia from the Ducati Lenovo Team, who had a time of 39:34.869.







Pictured above is Bastianini, Martin, and Acosta celebrating their win. For the 2025 season, the Ducati Lenovo team was debating who to have as Francesco Bagnaia’s teammate and finally signed Gresini Racing’s Marc Marquez for the 2025 and 2026 seasons, replacing Enea Bastianini.

The second Grand Prix was the Grande Prémio de Portugal which was held on March 24. At that Grand Prix, Pedro got his first podium of the season. He placed third with a gap of 5.362 between him and the first place winner. Jorge Martin from Prima Pramac Racing got first place with a time of 41:18.138 and Enea Bastianini from the Ducati Lenovo Team got second with a gap of 0.882.




Next up was the Grand Prix of the Americas, which took place on April 14 at the Circuit of the Americas in Dallas, Texas. Acosta got a podium once again, but this time, he placed second. He beat Bastianini, who had a gap of 2.703 between him and the first place winner, while Acosta had a gap of 1.728. First place was Aprilia Racing’s Maverick Viñales, who got a time of 41:09.503.


27 year old Italian rider Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia was the MotoGP World Champion in 2022 and 2023. He was also the Moto2 World Champion in 2018.

The fourth Grand Prix of the 2024 season, the Gran Premio de España, took place on April 28. The Spanish Grand Prix was more difficult for Acosta as he crashed twice during the weekend. The first time he crashed was during Qualifying 2, where due to his crash, he lost his chance to be in pole position. During the warm-up prior to the race, Acosta crashed once again but his team managed to fix his bike, allowing him to race. In the race, he placed 10th. The first place winner was Francesco Bagnaia with a time of 40:58.053. The gap between him and Acosta was 20.762.

During practice, riders’ time is taken to determine which of the fastest 10 riders automatically advance to Qualifying 2, which is where riders want to be in order to get a better grid position. In Qualifying 1, the top two fastest riders join the original 10 in Qualifying 2. The rider’s time in qualifiers determine what the grid for the race will be. Pole position is the top position on the grid.

The Grand Prix de France was held in Le Mans at the Bugatti Circuit on May 12. Pedro managed to get 7th position on the grid but unfortunately, he didn’t finish the race, crashing after just two laps. He was trying to get in fourth position and made an attempt to pass Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team’s Fabio Di Giannantonio but had a tight space between him, Di Giannantonio, and Aprillia Racing’s Aleix Espargaró who was in 3rd.

For Pedro’s birthday, the marshals surprised him after the Tissot Sprint by going out with shark hats and congratulating him when he stopped to meet them, which they said he’s done since he was in the Red Bull Rookies Cup. Fans sang him happy birthday and his team had a small party for him. In a short interview, he said “I don’t like these birthday things so much, and I even felt a bit embarrassed in front of all the fans but it’s nice to have people like that.”

The sixth Grand Prix is the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya held on May 26. For practice, Pedro got 3rd fastest lap with his time being 1:38:665 and advanced to qualifying 2 automatically. In qualifying 2, Pedro got 5th place and got 5th position on the starting grid. In the Tissot Sprint, which was on his birthday, Raúl Fernández, Brad Binder, and Francesco Bagnaia crashed out while they were in first place. Aleix Espargaró, who on May 23, announced he’s retiring after the 2024 season, got 1st place with a time of 20:01.478. Marc Marquez got 2nd with a gap of 0.892 and Pedro Acosta got 3rd with a gap of 1.169. In the race, Pedro was in 2nd place when he crashed but was able to rejoin the race. In the end, he got 13th place. The podium was Francesco Bagnaia whose time was 40:11.726, Jorge Martin who had a gap of 1.740, and 3rd place Marc Marquez with a gap of 10.491.

The Tissot Sprint was only introduced last season. The sprint is a race that allows riders to get more points for the championship and lasts half the amount of laps as the race. The grid for the sprint is also determined by qualifying 1 and 2 and is the same as the race, meaning that the sprint does not affect the grid for the race.

During the weekend, Pedro and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing announced that Pedro will be joining Brad Binder for the 2025 season on a multi-year deal. Pedro said “It was important to me to keep pushing with KTM, and to see the whole project and the story until now and how we have grown in racing. So, it’s nice to carry on for the future: getting in orange is like coming back home.”

MotoGP had a back to back weekend and had the French Grand Prix the weekend after the Catalunya Grand Prix. Despite crashing during practice, Pedro still got 3rd fastest time and advanced to qualifying 2. In qualifying 2, he got a time of 1:45.028 and ended up getting 7th position on the grid. Along with the back-to-back Grand Prix weekend, Pedro got a back-to-back podium for the Tissot Sprint getting 3rd place the weekend of May 24th and 3rd place the weekend of May 31 as well. He placed 3rd behind Gresini Racing’s Marc Marquez and Francesco Bagnaia. Bagnaia had a time of 19:30.251, the gap between him and Marquez was 1.469, and Acosta had a gap of 4.147. For the race, Pedro got 5th with a gap of 7.501. Francesco Bagnaia got 1st place with a time of 40:51.385. His teammate, Enea Bastianini, got 2nd with a gap of 0.799 and Jorge Martin placed 3rd with a gap of 0.924.


As of today, June 5, these are the standings and the amount of points each rider has:

  1. Jorge Martin – 171

    MotoGP has a documentary series where they take the riders who are title contenders and follow them throughout the racing season. The first season has 4 episodes and follows the title contenders for the 2022 season, while the second season has 5 episodes and follows the title contenders for the 2023 season.
  2. Francesco Bagnaia – 153
  3. Marc Marquez – 136
  4. Enea Bastianini – 114
  5. Pedro Acosta – 101
  6. Maverick Viñales – 100
  7. Brad Binder – 85
  8. Aleix Espagaró – 82
  9. Fabio Di Giannantonio – 74
  10. Alex Marquez  – 51
  11. Marco Bezzecchi – 45
  12. Raul Fernandez – 32
  13. Fabio Quartararo – 32
  14. Franco Morbidelli – 31
  15. Jack Miller – 27
  16. Franco Morbidelli – 15
  17. Augusto Fernandez – 13
  18. Joan Mir – 13
  19. Johann Zarco – 9
  20. Alex Rins – 8
  21. Takaaki Nakagami – 8
  22. Dani Pedrosa – 7
  23. Luca Marini – 0
  24. Stefan Bradl – 0
  25. Pol Espargaro – 0
  26. Lorenzo Savadori – 0

There are more than 22 riders on the standings due to wildcards – racers that are put into a Grand Prix for different reasons – like the original rider having injuries or for the wildcard rider to give feedback on a bike. The amount of wildcards for a team is limited and differs between manufacturers.


My thoughts on Pedro Acosta

I only started watching MotoGP this season but it’s interesting. I’ve seen what Pedro can do and after learning more about him, I was surprised to find out he joined MotoGP this season at 19, now 20, years old. He’s still a rookie so I wouldn’t expect him to win the World Championship this year and, in an interview, he said that the worst thing to do is create false expectations. It’s still early in the season and the standings can change, so I’m excited to see where he goes.  In conclusion, I’ve heard commentators and other riders speak well about him and share the fact that he’s experienced. If you’re a fan of Formula 1 or would just like to get into racing in general, I would recommend watching MotoGP. Thank you for reading my article and I hope you enjoyed it!

Works Cited:

FIM JUNIORGPTM World championship. JuniorGP. (n.d.).

Llurba, L. (2023, November 15). 6 things you should know about newly minted Moto2 champion Pedro Acosta. Red Bull gives you wings –

Llurba, P. B. / L. (2024, March 10). Will the genius of Pedro Acosta make him king of motogpTM in his debut year?. Red Bull. (2023, November 12). Pedro Acosta, the youngest intermediate class champion since Pedrosa. The Official Home of MotoGP.

MotoGPTM riders: Profiles: Stats & results. The Official Home of MotoGP. (n.d.-a).

MotoGPTM World Championship: Calendar: Results: Live Streaming. The Official Home of MotoGP. (n.d.-b).

Pedro Acosta. Red Bull gives you wings – (n.d.-a).

Pedro Acosta. Red Bull gives you wings – (n.d.-b).

Raynal, A. (2024, April 14). Pedro Acosta. Red Bull GASGAS Tech3.

What is a wildcard in motogp and why is it used?. Motorsport. (2024, April 25).

World of Motorcycling. FIM. (n.d.).

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About the Contributor
Lizbeth Casas
Lizbeth Casas, Staff Reporter
Hi! My name is Lizbeth Casas and I’m a freshman at Elmwood Park High School. I love listening to music. Some of my favorite artists are Twenty One Pilots, Late Night Drive Home, James Marriott. I also love reading William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist and Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper series. 
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