I would think Pedro Acosta was licking his lips with anticipation after watching those last two incredible MotoGP™ races.  The 19-year-old Spaniard will be joining in the fun next year and I bet he can’t wait to get involved. I’m sure there is also a certain amount of trepidation for the Murcia rider who has exploded into Grand Prix racing. Six wins in his first season brought him the Moto3™ title. After finishing fifth in his first Moto2™ season last year Acosta is poised to add the Moto2™ crown after seven wins on the Red Bull KTM Ajo machine. He needs to finish fourth or higher at the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix in a couple of weeks’ time to be crowned the Moto2™ World Champion with two rounds remaining.

If he wins the World title this year he will achieve something no other rider in the modern era has done. Acosta will be the only rider to win two world titles in separate classes in his first three years competing in World Championship racing. Not even the likes of legends Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa or Jorge Lorenzo arrived so quickly with World titles under their belt

In those first three years, Acosta has won 16 Grands Prix. Fifteen of those came in his first 50 starts and only Valentino Rossi has done better. The nine-time World Champion won 20 Grands Prix in his first 50 starts. Rossi also won 17 races before his 20th birthday. Pedrosa is the youngest rider to clinch two world titles. The Spanish Honda rider was just 19 years 18 days old when he won the first of his 250cc world titles to add to his 125cc crown. As long as Acosta wins the Moto2™ crown this year he will be the second youngest to win two world titles. At the moment Marquez is the second youngest with Rossi third. Marquez won an incredible 26 Grands Prix before his 20th birthday with Pedrosa on 21, Rossi on 17 Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) on 16 and Lorenzo with 15.

Despite all the headlines and success, the next step into the premier class is massive for Acosta. When he joins the MotoGP™ grid under the Qatar floodlights on the GASGAS Factory Racing machine at that opening round of 22 next season, the pressure will be on. Comparing him to Marc Marquez is understandable after his success so far but it’s a tag that will hang heavy around his neck. Remember when Marquez arrived in MotoGP™ in 2013. He blew the premier class apart on the Repsol Honda. He won just his second Grand Prix in Austin and went on to re-write the history books. He won five more Grands Prix and the world title after finishing third in the final round in Valencia. Marquez and Kenny Roberts are the only riders in the 75-year history of the sport to win the premier class in their first season, apart of course from Les Graham who was the 500cc World Champion in the very first year in 1949.

Even Marquez did not win his first MotoGP™ race, but others have, starting with Geoff Duke in 1950 when he won the TT on the Norton. Jarno Saarinen won the opening two 1973 500cc rounds on the two-stroke Yamaha before his tragic death. Who will forget Max Biaggi’s debut with that stunning win at Suzuka in 1998.

I don’t think anybody is expecting Acosta to emulate these feats, especially Marquez with a title win. Never has the level of competition been closer or more intense. Twenty-two Grands Prix and 22 Tissot Sprint races is the longest and toughest test we’ve ever witnessed. Acosta first has to win the Moto2™ World Championship before that massive step into MotoGP™.

The next Marc Marquez? Only time will tell but I can’t wait to see how he fares.