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MotoGP Malaysian GP: Tech3-bound Pedro Acosta wins 2023 Moto2 title

Tech3 MotoGP-bound Pedro Acosta has been crowned the 2023 Moto2 world champion, after clinching his second title at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Pedro Acosta, Red Bull KTM Ajo

Pedro Acosta, Red Bull KTM Ajo

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Acosta is one of the hottest prospects in the MotoGP paddock, making an immediate impact in his maiden grand prix season in Moto3.

Finishing on the podium in his first race at the Qatar GP before taking his maiden victory at the following Doha GP starting from pitlane, Acosta would go on to win the Moto3 crown on his first attempt.

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He would step up to Moto2 in 2022, remaining in the Ajo KTM system, and won three times on his way to fifth in the standings.

Remaining with Ajo KTM for 2023 in Moto2, Acosta has won seven races and eventually extended his championship lead out to chief rival Tony Arbolino.

At the Malaysian GP on Sunday, Acosta rode a steady race to second to move 77 points clear of Arbolino – who was 10th after a collision early on – to become Moto2 champion for 2023.

Acosta’s promotion to the MotoGP class in 2024 was already confirmed earlier this year, when KTM activated the option on his contract to bring him up.

It spent months trying to find a place for Acosta, what with Tech3 riders Augusto Fernandez and Pol Espargaro under contract for 2024.

Last month, KTM ultimately confirmed that Espargaro would make way for Acosta, with the former taking on a test rider role within the Austrian marque.

Pedro Acosta, Red Bull KTM Ajo

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Pedro Acosta, Red Bull KTM Ajo

Acosta has already tested KTM MotoGP machinery, but will make his first public appearance as an official MotoGP class rider at the post-race Valencia test on 29 November.

His Moto2 team boss Aki Ajo told Autosport back in August that he considers Acosta to be one of the last of the “old school” breed of riders, which he believes is a big part in what has made him so good.

His future Tech3 MotoGP boss Herve Poncharal told Autosport in Malaysia that Acosta’s approach to his step up has been unique.

Where most riders insist on sitting on their future bike and giving the team pointers on the ergonomics of the machine, Acosta has had a hands-off approach as he has instead wished to focus fully on winning the Moto2 title.

Jaume Masia, Leopard Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Jaume Masia, Leopard Racing

Moto3 title battle tightens up

After a frantic 15-lap Malaysian GP on Sunday morning, the Moto3 title class is finely poised heading into the final two rounds of the season.

A maiden win for Intact GP’s Collin Veijer ahead of his team-mate Ayumu Sasaki has handed Leopard Honda’s Jaume Masia a 13-point lead in the standings.

Masia completed the podium, with Ivan Ortola and David Munoz rounding out the top five. Crashes for David Alonso and Daniel Holgado have put them 41 points behind in the championship battle.

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