Acosta in the company of Rossi and Marquez; all the youngest motogp world champions


 Pedro Acosta misses out on becoming the youngest champion in the history of the MotoGP World Championship by just one day. And you’ll never guess who holds the record


Becoming world champion after winning the race that decided the title in his debut season in the World Championship: that’s what Pedro Acosta achieved at the Grande Prémio Brembo do Algarve. Once he had crossed the finishing line, the Spaniard got off his bike and grabbed a fishing rod which he used to catch a casket containing a gold helmet – a symbol of the World Championship he had just won.​


Both Acosta’s father and grandfather are fishermen, a profession that the young Pedro would also have followed if he had not been such a success with motorbikes. This is also the origin of his nickname, the Tiburón de Mazarrón, the shark of Mazarron (the town in the province of Murcia where he was born). The family boat, the Peretujo, was his first sponsor and his fellow townspeople created a small fan club to support him. 

His father and his profession are a source of inspiration: “He has always taught me that if you want something, you must earn it”. This is why he says he doesn’t spend much time on social media and prefers to spend his free time training, because when he gets on a motorbike he enjoys himself. This is evident in the heavy braking that has made him famous, using the Brembo braking system that made its debut this year in Moto3. ​


What is new compared to 2020 is the monobloc caliper in aluminum machined from billet with a radial mount with two 32 mm diameter pistons and radiant fins which increase heat exchange; the more observant among you will have noticed that it resembles the GP4 caliper which has been used in MotoGP since 2020. 

The steel disc is also new (under current rules, carbon fiber is only used in MotoGP) and has a lower braking band to reduce mass and unsprung weight. The master cylinder is also new and has a smaller diameter than the previous model.

The Z04 and Z16 sintered brake pads complete the entire system and are 200 grams lighter than those used last season. Acosta's KTM also had Marchesini (a Brembo Group brand) M10RS Corse Moto3 10-spoke forged magnesium wheels which allow significant savings in weight and inertia, while maintaining the same rigidity.​


But even the best braking system and the most powerful engine are not enough to win races. Today, fortunately, it is still the rider who makes the difference in motorcycle racing. And to pay tribute to Acosta’s skill, here are the Top 10 youngest riders to have won the title of Motorcycle World Champion. 

MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3, 500cc, 350cc, 250cc, 125cc, 80cc and 50cc all fall into this category. The World Superbike, Supersport 600 and Supersport 300 classes, on the other hand, do not belong to this category and are not included in our analysis because they belong to another “circuit” of races. This explains, for example, why Manuel Gonzalez, who was world champion two years ago at the age of 17 has been omitted.



Here is the Top 10 of the youngest world champions:​

10th place Thomas Luthi: 125cc champion in 2005 at the age of 19 years and 61 days 

In 2005 the Swiss rider began the season really badly when he pulled out on the 15th lap of the opening race, the Spanish GP. However, that was Thomas Luthi’s only “zero” in a year when he never finished worse than 10th place in the races, and secured 4 wins and 8 podiums. The 125cc championship title was only his on the last race in Valencia where he finished 9th to gain 7 points which were vital to go 5 points ahead of Mika Kallio. ​



9th place Maverick Viñales: Moto3 champion in 2013 at the age of 18 years and 302 days 

After coming close to winning the title in 2011 and 2012, finishing 3rd in both championships, the Spaniard won the Moto3 title in 2013 despite not securing as many wins: 3 compared with 4 in 2011 in the 125cc class and 5 in 2012 in the Moto3 class. Maverick Viñales managed to make up for fewer wins with 15 podium places in the season and a 4th and a 5th place. He too only won the championship on the last race thanks to his win in Valencia by just 186 milliseconds. ​




8th place Manuel Poggiali: 125cc champion in 2001 at the age of 18 years and 262 days 

Despite retiring 3 times, the rider from San Marino won the 125cc World Championship in 2001 with Gilera thanks to consistent results in all the other races. Although he only won 3 times, Manuel Poggiali scored 11 podiums and never finished lower than 5th place. With his 5th place in Rio in the last GP in the championship, he fought off Youichi Ui who, by winning the previous 4 races, had got dangerously close in the standings. ​


7th place Andrea Dovizioso: 125cc champion in 2004 at the age of 18 years and 201 days 

2004 was a highly successful season for the rider from Forlì who leapt to the top of the standings when he won the first race in South Africa and hung on to that position. In the first 10 GPs he had 3 wins, 2 second places, 1 third and 4 fourth places. The fact that he abandoned the race in Portugal was not significant because he won the following race in Japan and with his 2nd place in Malaysia, with still 2 GPs to go, he became 125cc world champion. ​



6th place Alex Marquez: Moto3 champion in 2014 at the age of 18 years and 200 days 

In 2014, after 6 Moto3 GPs, Alex Marquez had earned 60 points which put him in 6th place behind his fellow countrymen Isaac Viñales, Alex Rins and Efren Vazquez, the Italian Romano Fenati and Jack Miller, with 104 points. Marc’s brother fought back, winning at Montmeló and at Assen, but it was only at Aragon that he leapt to the top of the standings, a position he maintained even though he only won the championship by 2 points.




5th place Valentino Rossi: 125cc champion in 1997 at the age of 18 years and 196 days 

After a season as an apprentice, Valentino Rossi began to show his worth. He won the first race in Malaysia with Aprilia, came off his bike in Suzuka, but fought back with another 2 wins to win 2nd place in Austria. From Le Mans he pulled off 6 wins in a row and 3rd place in Brno was enough to become 125cc champion with 3 races still to go. He won 2 of these to achieve a total of 11 wins, an all-time record for the 125cc class. ​


4th place Daniel Pedrosa: 125cc champion in 2003 at the age of 18 years and 13 days 

The 2003 125cc season saw an unbelievable number of quality riders who became legends: that year Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner, Marco Simoncelli and Andrea Dovizioso all vied for points. Then there was Dani Pedrosa, the most consistent of all both for wins (5) and coming in the Top 5 (10), who won the World Championship even if he missed the last two races due to injuries to both ankles. ​



3rd place Marc Marquez: 125cc champion in 2010 at the age of 17 years and 263 days 

In his first two years in the 125cc class, Marc Marquez did not have a single win and only 2 podiums. In 2010 he overcame his problems at Mugello and also won the following 4 races. After a shaky period halfway through the season, except for the win at Misano, he became unbeatable again for 4 more wins in a row. However, he only became certain of securing the title at Ricardo Tormo. His figures are impressive: 10 wins, 8 fastest laps and 12 podiums. ​



2nd place Pedro Acosta: Moto3 champion in 2021 at the age of 17 years and 166 days 

His rivals had already understood exactly what he was capable of in the Red Bull Rookies Cup where he was runner-up in 2019 with 2 races to spare and won the title in 2020. This year, on his debut in Moto3, Pedro Acosta has got off to a great start: 2nd in Qatar followed by 3 wins in a row and good performances in several GPs before winning in Germany and Austria. In the second half of the season, he defended his advantage and sealed the championship with a win at Portimão. ​



1st place Loris Capirossi: 125 champion in 1990 at the age of 17 years and 165 days 

After a nervous wait, the rider from Imola preserves his record as the youngest world champion by just one day. Like Acosta, Loris Capirossi was world champion in his rookie season but had to wait for the 10th GP in Great Britain for his first win in the 125cc class. However, at 2 GPs from the end, 17 points behind Stefan Prein (a win was worth 20), it seemed like a hopeless task. He succeeded by winning both the final races thanks to help from the other Italians. ​