“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.”

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