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Rins “not an idiot” in Portugal MotoGP lead crash

Alex Rins says he would have let Fabio Quartararo go in their MotoGP victory battle in Portugal had he seen he was over the limit as “I’m not an idiot”.

Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Speaking exclusively to Autosport ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, Rins was responding to criticism of his crash at Portimao while battling Yamaha’s Quartararo for the lead.

Rins admits “it wasn’t easy” to get over the mistake he made as the telemetry gave no “apparent reason” for the crash.

And while he concedes settling for second would have put him second in the standings instead of dropping him to seventh and 23 points adrift, he says this mentality would mean “I would never have beaten [Marc] Marquez” in their epic 2019 Silverstone duel.

“If I had settled for second place, I would now be second in the world championship,” Rins said.

“Of course, I was touched. But with a more conservative mentality I would never have beaten Marquez two years ago at Silverstone.

“On that occasion I could have settled for second place, but I wouldn't have got that much-talked about victory afterwards.

“This is just the beginning, we are just going into the fourth race of the season and there will be time to take out the calculator.

“If we can have more weekends like Portimao, being on top from Friday, that bad result will be camouflaged.”

Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Suzuki MotoGP

When it was put to him that his current mentality has shades of how Marquez approached the 2015 campaign, where he was quick but crashed too often and lost the title, Rins replied: “It's true, we have to find the balance point.

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“On Saturday night [at Portimao], planning the race strategy, I saw Fabio with a better pace than the rest of the riders, including me.

“But on Sunday, riding behind him, I felt great.

“I crashed after setting two or three fast laps in a row, but I was riding very loose, very comfortable, having a great time.

“I'm not an idiot: if I had seen myself riding at the limit behind Quartararo, I would obviously have let him go.

“[Joan] Mir admitted afterwards that he let us go because otherwise he would have destroyed the tyres.

“But that wasn't my case. His laps and mine had nothing to do with each other, as the data showed.”

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