After an impressive debut, Herve Poncharal gives his thoughts on how MotoGP™ rookie Pedro Acosta is doing in the opening round of the season.

It was a special debut for MotoGP™ rookie Pedro Acosta who ended Friday in third position. Acosta finished ahead of some notable names including reigning World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Gresini Racing MotoGP™’s Marc Marquez. Acosta was fast from the first session, ending both of Friday’s Free Practice sessions in third position.

Most notably, Acosta had some near misses, finding the RC16’s limits on the opening day at the Lusial International Circuit. The rookie saved a crash at turn six in Practice 1 before replicating a similar save at turn nine, moments later in the session.

Speaking in FP2, Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 Team Owner, Herve Poncharal said: “A lot has been said already about Pedro, I am not going to repeat everything but, in a few words, to have such a young man entering MotoGP™ as a rookie and doing what he has done, he is very impressive.

“We all remember Valencia on the Tuesday after the last race (Valencia Test) and how comfortable he was on the bike and since then it has only been better. There were never any setbacks, and this is what we really like, every stint and every run was better than the previous one which rarely happens.”

Acosta first rode a MotoGP for the first time at the post-season Valencia Test, looking confident straight away and ending his first day just 1.223 seconds from the top spot. Since Valencia Acosta has ridden the bike at Sepang and Qatar, gaining confidence and lap time – finishing second on the first day of testing in Malaysia.

“There were never any setbacks, and this is what we really like, every stint and every run was better than the previous one which rarely happens. I think he has got a special relationship with his motorcycle and understands how to extract the maximum of the bike, he has got a mechanical feeling that some don’t have.”

However, Poncharal believes Pedro Acosta is a special rider and unlike anyone who has ever been in the Tech3 team before.

“As you know we have had many Moto2™ World Champions and respect to all of them because they are all great riders, but I have to say if you asked me: he is special, he is different, he is better.”

It has not just been Herve Poncharal who has commentated in Acosta after the first day of the season. When in Free Practice 1, Acosta had a close moment with Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro – passing the MotoGP™ veteran in the entry to turn one.

After showing his skill on day one Acosta will be looking towards Practice tomorrow where the top 10 spots to enter Q2 will be decided. MotoGP™ Practice will begin at 13:40 local time (UTC +3) on Saturday with Qualifying kicking off at 11:40 local time (UTC +3) in a super Saturday for MotoGP™. –

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