Pedro Acosta’s manager
«Passing through the intermediate category is vital in their training and the idea is to spend two years. But if the World Cup is within reach in 2022, Pedro will go for it »
Albert Valera (Barcelona, 37 years old) is one of the people around Pedro Acosta less exposed to the media spotlight. And yet, his figure has been key in the last two seasons. Without him the success of the Mazarron rider cannot be understood, the boy called to dominate the world of motorcycling in the future. CEO of Playmaker Agency and manager of pilots such as Jorge Lorenzo, Aleix Espargaró, Jorge Navarro, Jorge Martín or Jaume Masiá, this Barcelona-born graduate in Business Administration became Pedro Acosta’s manager in mid-2019. Last year, after the failed attempt by the MT-Fundación Andreas Pérez 77 to secure a place in the World Championship for Acosta at the Prustel GP, Mazarrón’s ‘Tiburon’ remained in no man’s land for three long months. And there the management of his manager was absolutely vital. He found him a place in the Red Bull KTM Ajo and what followed is already the history of Spanish motorcycling.
– How did you meet Acosta?
– This is my eleventh season in the World Cup. For nine years I led the career of Jorge Lorenzo and later more pilots joined, such as Espargaró, Navarro, Martín or Masiá. Javi martinez [responsable del equipo Hawkers Finetwork del FIM CEV] He insisted a lot that I had to catch Pedro, but the truth is that he was overbooked with drivers. I have a team of people who help me, but I run every day in the paddock. He could not incorporate Pedro. What happens is that in 2019 Jorge’s announcement arrives [Lorenzo] that he is going to retire and then, in a very short time, we reached an agreement with Pedro [Acosta]. We started working together in 2019 and things haven’t gone bad. In 2020 he won the Rookies Cup. And in 2021, the Moto 3 World Championship.
A SPORTSMAN THAT ATTRACTS
«The other day they compared him to Joaquín, from Betis, and I see him a bit like that. It should not change »
“What are you in charge of?”
– Of everything that has nothing to do with track work, which is obviously a matter for the team and Pacote [Paco Mármol], which is very important in his life and in his sports career. I run their representation agency and I take care of sponsors, legal and tax advice and everything related to their agenda. I also advise their family as much as possible, since they are finding a context that is new to them.
– How are he and his family handling all the media ‘boom’ that has been generated around him?
-Well. He is a positive and sensible boy. His environment is good and we all help him. Right now we have endless requests for interviews, attendance at events and presentations of all kinds. We take care of keeping him a little away from all this maelstrom and that he continues in his bubble, training and preparing for what is coming next season. On the issue of sponsors, the idea is to keep those we already have, by rewarding their commitment to Pedro when no one knew him.
– I recently asked Acosta about the possibility of going to live in Andorra, as most pilots do. And he answered ‘no’, that he stays in Mazarrón. What do you think?
-Perfect. That decision is yours and it also seems right to me. He has it all in Murcia. You can train in the best conditions in the circuits of Cartagena and Fortuna. You have the mountains of Mazarrón to go out with your bike. And, most important of all, at 17 what Pedro needs is to be with his parents and the rest of his family. That is its natural environment. Andorra offers many advantages to pilots and all the comforts to live and train, but in Pedro’s particular case he already has all of this in Murcia.
WILL CONTINUE IN MURCIA
He needs to be with his family. It has everything you need in Cartagena, Fortuna and Mazarrón »
– Apart from sports, where there is no doubt that he is a special pilot, he is a character that the public likes. He is a fun, natural and spontaneous boy. That attracts brands …
– The other day they compared me to Joaquín, the Betis footballer. And I see it a bit like that. He doesn’t have to change his personality. He takes motorcycles a bit like a game. For him it is like being in the schoolyard. He has fun and being in the World Cup does not put him under any pressure. This is not taken as a profession, but as a diversion. And so it has to continue. He is doing very well.
–Be honest, at the beginning of the year you thought you could win the Moto3 World Championship?
–I knew I was going to win races this year. I told his father. He has an inordinate talent. It is true that winning a World Cup is different, since you have to be lucky, not fall, not get injured … As soon as I did not think I would be a champion, but that I had everything to be it was evident.
– When did the possibility of going directly to MotoGP arise, what did you advise?
–We both agreed that there was no point in skipping Moto2. This stage in the intermediate category is vital in the training of a pilot and he has to take advantage of it. The goal is to spend two years and be champion in 2023, but obviously if the title is within reach in 2022 Pedro will go for him. He has plenty of potential to be a Moto2 world champion. And he is in an ideal team for it.
–You are the manager of Acosta and also of Masiá, who have had a difficult coexistence this year in the KTM Ajo team. How have you handled it?
-They are two great kids and they have great respect for each other. Jaume [Masiá] has accepted what happened. For everyone, the appearance of Pedro [Acosta] It was a ‘shock’. A 17-year-old boy has arrived and everything has changed.
– Can the Pedro Acosta phenomenon be similar to any that we have experienced before in Spanish motorcycling?
–I experienced Jorge Lorenzo’s two titles in MotoGP first-hand, in 2012 and 2015, and the impact on a world level cannot be compared to that of achieving a Moto3 title. They are different scenarios, but it is an obvious fact that an irruption like that of Pedro Acosta had not been seen for a long time. The illusion that he is generating in this sport, not only in Spain, is incredible. It can reach the maximum.