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Acosta: MotoGP paddock 'needs more people like Kevin Schwantz'

MotoGP rookie sensation Pedro Acosta says the paddock “needs more people” like 1993 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz, who he feels has the “real DNA” of the series.

Pedro Acosta, Red Bull GASGAS Tech3 celebrate with his team

Photo by: Rob Gray / Polarity Photo

MotoGP is going through a transitionary phase, as it looks to re-establish its global mainstream standing following recent years of declining interest in the wake of the retirement of Valentino Rossi.

Ahead of last weekend’s Americas Grand Prix, Liberty Media announced it would be buying Dorna Sports and MotoGP in a deal worth €4.2 billion.

Liberty has been able to make household names of Formula 1 drivers since it took over ownership of the series in 2016.

Asked for his opinion about 500cc legend Schwantz, Acosta says the paddock needs to have more riders like him and spoke about a childhood memory he has of the Texan for his reasoning.

“For me, we need more people like him,” he said. “I’m not talking about riding, I’m not talking about competition. I think we miss this DNA from MotoGP and we need more people like him, because I remember one day I went to Jerez, maybe I was eight – man, he was the only guy.

Kevin Schwantz

Kevin Schwantz

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“There was Angel Nieto and Fonsi [Nieto] and these guys also, and he [Schwantz] was the only guy who spent maybe four hours signing autographs for the fans. For this, we need more people like him because this is the real DNA of MotoGP.”

Acosta went on to add that riders need to carve out their own characters if MotoGP wants to gain greater appeal, highlighting the personalities the series had in the previous decade.

“I don’t have a clear idea,” he added, when asked what riders need to do to be more like Schwantz. “No one can be like him, because if so it’s going to be easy.

“I don’t have ideas. We need to be more natural, we need to be like before – like 10 years ago, having characters like Casey [Stoner], like Dani [Pedrosa].

“Not everyone in the same way. But it is like it is.”

Watch: MotoGP: Vinales recovers from 11th to win | 2024 #AmericasGP

Acosta has long been an advocate for riders being showmen to promote the series, telling Autosport last November when asked about the role of social media in MotoGP: “We need these things because now you go to the streets and ask who is Marc Marquez? People know him, but it’s going to be much more difficult than Valentino Rossi.

“Guys that, for me, made good people in the past: Scott Redding. Nobody is going to know him. Alvaro Bautista. Nobody is going to know him. [Danilo] Petrucci, [Andrea] Dovizioso.

“We need all the show to come up. In media or whatever, we need to show that MotoGP is here and MotoGP is a nice show to see. It’s one thing that we need at the moment.”

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