“Scared” Rins ‘couldn’t see myself not on a factory bike’ in MotoGP

Alex Rins admits news of Suzuki’s exit from MotoGP at the end of the 2022 season left him “scared”, and says taking a non-factory bike was something he couldn’t imagine.

“Scared” Rins ‘couldn’t see myself not on a factory bike’ in MotoGP

The three-time MotoGP race winner was unexpectedly thrown onto the 2023 rider market when Suzuki informed its team that it would be ending its MotoGP project at the end of the year back in May.

Rins engaged in discussions with several teams, including KTM, Gresini Ducati and LCR – ultimately signing a two-year deal directly with Honda to join the latter.

In an exclusive interview on Autosport’s Tank Slappers Podcast, Rins admits he feared for his future upon first hearing the news – but was also scared of the fact that he could be forced to take an uncompetitive bike to continue his career.

“I’m working even harder year by year,” Rins said.

“And you know I was a bit scared when Suzuki announced its retirement because I’m not anymore a rookie rider and I was trying to find a factory bike, that luckily we got.

“But I was a little bit scared, because it was not easy

“It’s a pleasure to have the contract with an official manufacturer, with Honda.

“For sure, if I was signing with Lucio [Cecchinello], with not an official bike, [that] was ok, [if] it was the only way I would take it.

“But I’m super-happy, because I don’t see myself running with not an official bike.

“Let me explain, I think I have a lot of experience, a lot of capacity to improve a bike. So, fuck, I couldn’t see me with not an official bike. It’s difficult to explain.

“We had the option to go to Ducati, we had more options also, but at Ducati they couldn’t secure me an official bike.

“I really understood and also I say thanks to them because they gave me an opportunity.

“But in the end it was Honda and I’m super-happy. I was with them in 2014 [in Moto3], more or less it’s the same people leading the project – the Moto3 project and this one.”

Alex Rins, Lucio Cecchinello, LCR Honda

Alex Rins, Lucio Cecchinello, LCR Honda

Photo by: Team LCR

In recent years, riders who have gone to Honda from other manufacturers have struggled to find success, with the likes of Jorge Lorenzo and Pol Espargaro failing to replicate past form on the RC213V.

Rins admits he has questions in his head about how he will fare in adapting to the Honda, but doesn’t go there already thinking the bike is difficult.

“Sincerely, in my head, this question I ask myself this question,” he added when asked if the problems other riders have faced at Honda in the past was something he was thinking about.

“If you see the past, Lorenzo went to Honda, and he struggled a lot.

“Pol has done some good races but he’s struggling a little bit.

Alex Marquez got some podiums but also he’s struggling.

“I mean, I’m really excited to join that project.

“For sure, I’m not thinking in a way like ‘the bike is so difficult, let’s see what we can do’.

“I’m not thinking this. I just want to ride the bike, try to make the bike [fit] to myself and get the results.”

shares
comments
Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge
Previous article

Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Next article

MotoGP to start 2023 season in Portugal, first European opener since 2006

MotoGP to start 2023 season in Portugal, first European opener since 2006
The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title Plus

The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title

Ducati has littered the grid with eight strong motorcycles that has ensured it has had at least one rider stand on the podium at every grand prix in 2022. The drama of the Aragon Grand Prix has thrust Francesco Bagnaia well and truly into title contention with five races to go, and Ducati must now consider utilising a unique strength it has so far been reticent to embrace

MotoGP
Sep 19, 2022
How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects Plus

How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects

Reigning Moto2 champion Remy Gardner’s career has been derailed by KTM’s decision not to retain him at Tech3 for 2023. Amid difficult circumstances, Gardner hasn’t shamed himself. But KTM’s apparent reasoning for dropping him raises questions about its handling of its young riders and the unrealistic expectations placed on them

MotoGP
Sep 6, 2022
Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP Plus

Why it won’t just be Marquez’s speed that saves Honda in MotoGP

OPINION: Honda is in the midst of a second winless season in the space of three years. The absence of the injured Marc Marquez has been a major contributing factor, but HRC’s inability to alter its own approach has seen it slide down the order. Marquez returned to the MotoGP paddock in Austria and provided a rallying cry Honda needed to hear.

MotoGP
Aug 22, 2022
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Plus

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former team-mate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider

MotoGP
Aug 8, 2022
Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time Plus

Why Marquez’s toughest MotoGP foe is stopping at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Plus

Why a Suzuki refugee feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Autosport - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Plus

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022
The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader Plus

The revolution behind Aprilia's rise from MotoGP tail-ender to pack-leader

Coinciding with the arrival of Massimo Rivola as head of its MotoGP division, Aprilia has undergone an internal revolution that has spurred it from occupying last place in the team standings to leading the table in the space of just two years. Those entrenched in the project reveal how the ex-Ferrari F1 chief has achieved the dramatic turnaround

MotoGP
Jul 15, 2022