Pedro Acosta illustrates the rider’s significance in MotoGP, poised to become a central figure in the sport.

Spread the love

Tech3 team principal Herve Poncharal asserts that Pedro Acosta’s debut performances highlight the rider’s continued impact in MotoGP.

At the conclusion of 2003, when Valentino Rossi made the decision to part ways with Honda, it was a statement aimed at showcasing that, despite the dawn of the new era of advanced four-stroke technology, the rider remained the pivotal element for success in MotoGP.

The Doctor not only substantiated his theory by claiming victory in his M1 debut on the path to Yamaha’s first premier-class championship in a decade but also stood as the sole Yamaha race winner for the subsequent four years.

From the satellite Yamaha garage, Tech3 team principal Herve Poncharal observed Rossi’s extraordinary journey, and he draws parallels to the later achievements of Marc Marquez at Honda when reflecting on the arrival of his 2024 standout rookie, Pedro Acosta.

“Every aspect plays a crucial role in achieving success in MotoGP, and I understand the great interest from fans and media in the technical aspects,” explained Poncharal, whose Tech3 team now operates under the GASGAS/KTM banner, in an exclusive interview with at Portimao.

“Hence, we often spend weeks or months discussing a new aerodynamic device or a fresh holeshot mechanism, believing it will create a significant difference.

“However, what remains truly remarkable in our sport – and I believe this is the main distinction from four-wheel racing – is the indispensable role of the rider. This is why I have a profound love for the sport in every class: Moto3, Moto2, and MotoGP.

“Undoubtedly, it is advantageous today to be aboard a Ducati rather than an ‘X’ bike from the Far East. Yet, let’s recall what one individual, Valentino Rossi, achieved on a Yamaha for years when the others struggled. I remember our Yamaha days when we were not even in contention for points.

“Similarly, consider the dominance of Marc Marquez at Honda and the contrasting performances of the other Honda riders during his tenure.”

“Hence, the rider remains indispensable. While we’ve witnessed the emergence of numerous top riders recently – Moto2 world champions such as Remy and Augusto, alongside Raul who was a vice-champion – Pedro’s arrival made it evident to us: this individual is exceptional, this individual is distinct.”



The moment Acosta truly caught Poncharal’s attention was hardly surprising: It was the young rider’s remarkable debut Moto3 victory, achieved in only his second race despite starting from the pit lane in Qatar 2021.

“I had been keeping an eye on him during the [Red Bull] Rookie, but then what he pulled off in his second Moto3 race in Qatar, starting from the pit lane and winning…

“Following that, he clinched the Moto3 title, but it was the manner in which he secured it. He rode like the wisest and most seasoned rider out there, despite being a rookie!

“Then, in his second year of Moto2, he claimed yet another title. Yet, I remained cautious, because transitioning to a MotoGP bike brings different tires, brakes, a plethora of electronics, and the challenge of managing two bikes with technicians guiding you. Sometimes, it takes time before you find your pace.

“He first joined us in Valencia for testing. He was fatigued from wrapping up the season, the conditions were chilly and gusty, and there was some dust on the track. So naturally, there’s always a bit of apprehension, you know?

“But wow, what he delivered was impressive – both on track and in the pits.

“At the end of the day, I asked Paul Trevathan, his crew chief, ‘How would you describe Pedro?’ He replied, ‘He’s a sponge.’ And I really resonate with that description because it’s true.

“Every time Pedro returns after a run, he’s absorbing everything. And in the subsequent run, he applies what he’s learned from the previous one.

“This is not typical. Usually, you try something based on the rider’s feedback, do a run, then debrief with the team. Sometimes the rider confirms what you tried works, and sometimes not, leading you to revert to the previous setup.

“But with Pedro, it’s consistently better, better, better, better. He’s methodical. He’s astute. There’s something innate in his DNA. He just grasps a bike.

“He hops onto the bike with these specific tires, brakes, and sophisticated technology—everything vastly different from what he’s been accustomed to. And you don’t have to instruct him or watch out for anything. He immediately finds harmony. He possesses an intuitive understanding of the entire package.

“So the winter tests were exceedingly promising. However, we didn’t quite know what to anticipate when it truly mattered at round one. And it was exceptional. He secured the fastest lap of the race and shattered the previous lap record, despite encountering some issues with his arm, possibly due to the positioning of the handlebar switches on the bike.

“But minus this minor physical setback, I firmly believe he had a shot at fighting for a podium…”

As fate would have it, Acosta went on to achieve his debut MotoGP podium in Portimao, just a few days after this interview took place.


Like his teenage rider, Poncharal is eager to avoid setting specific targets, recognizing that they can quickly become burdensome if not achieved.

However, the Frenchman, who established Tech3 in 1990 and has been involved in the premier-class with Yamaha and then KTM since 2001, had seen enough to conclude that Acosta will become a ‘key player’ in MotoGP ‘very soon’.

“He’s a rookie. We had a great winter, a strong round one, and we’ll see how it goes. But one thing is certain: Pedro Acosta is going to be a top rider in MotoGP for many years to come.

“Without a doubt, he will be among the pivotal figures in this championship, very soon.

“I’m delighted that he’s embarking on his rookie season with us. And I’m pleased that the Pierer Mobility Group [KTM, GASGAS, etc.] has a rider of his caliber.

“The Pierer Mobility Group has put in tremendous effort and dedication to this project, but having the right person on the bike – someone who also believes in the project – is crucial.

“Some riders who came here remarked, ‘this isn’t a winning machine’. But Pedro arrived with an open mind, devoid of preconceptions, and after the first lap, he exclaimed, ‘I love this bike!’ And to this day, he continues to say, ‘I love this bike. I feel great on this bike.’

“Now, with Brad [Binder], who brings experience, and Pedro, with his rookie potential, I believe these two individuals will emerge as the front-runners of the Pierer Mobility Group project.”



Despite Acosta’s immediate success, Poncharal consistently emphasizes that the Spaniard is ‘prepared to face challenges’ and understands that MotoGP will not be a stroll in the park.

“What I admire about him is his humility. He is diligent, ambitious, yet he maintains respect for everyone,” Poncharal remarked.

“He hails from a humble family background, which I greatly appreciate. His father, a fisherman from a small Spanish port, and his mother are ordinary people. They are both here with us. Moreover, he has received a good education.”

“After completing a full weekend in Qatar – from qualifying to the Sprint race and main event – he appears more composed [in Portimao]. He is aware of his capabilities.”

“However, he is not indulging in dreams. He is prepared to face more challenges. He understands that this is all part of the rookie season journey. He is here to learn.”

“We are genuinely delighted. We have an exceptional rider and an outstanding individual with us. For me, after all these years, achieving results is crucial, but equally important is fostering a strong human connection.”

“A contented rider is a swift rider, and to ensure the rider’s contentment, you need a cohesive team environment. A team he believes in. This is my objective at Tech3.”

“Pierer Mobility develops the bike, and my role is to provide him with the group he needs, the team he deserves around him.”

“Ultimately, it becomes a mutually beneficial situation for all involved.”

Stay tuned with We4GP for more news.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *