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Why Honda seriously risks losing Rins to a MotoGP rival

Honda's treatment of Alex Rins since he joined at the start of the 2023 MotoGP season has led to the possible departure of the Spaniard to Yamaha.

Alex Rins, Team LCR Honda

After Suzuki’s MotoGP withdrawal at the end of last season, Rins landed at the LCR Honda squad while former team-mate Joan Mir became Marc Marquez’s team-mate at the factory Honda squad.

Despite racing for the satellite squad, Rins is directly contracted to Honda and his initial agreement expires at the end of 2024, but it does include a clause that could allow him to leave early if he was offered a factory deal elsewhere.

As Autosport has learned, Yamaha has approached Rins as an option to replace Franco Morbidelli, after the Italian's performances have not convinced Yamaha to retain him.

But what isn’t helping Rins is he is out of action due to a serious leg break suffered in the Italian MotoGP sprint race at Mugello. He has undergone two operations and his return schedule remains unclear but he is unlikely to be fit for the first race after the summer break, the British GP on 4-6 August.

If Rins was to split from Honda, it would lose the rider who has achieved its best result in 2023, with the Spaniard taking victory at the United States round in April.

It was also in the United States where Rins expressed his dissatisfaction with Honda’s treatment, overlooking him to test new parts: “I notice that Honda has little support for me, I feel wasted," he said back in April.

Alex Rins, Team LCR Honda

Alex Rins, Team LCR Honda

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

It is understood Rins requested to test the different chassis being evaluated by Marquez and Mir, and the situation worsened when Marquez tested, raced and then discarded the Kalex chassis which Rins hadn’t even been able to test despite requesting it.

Autosport understands that his option to go to Yamaha is open, and now the situation rests with Honda to try to convince Rins to stay.

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It appears Rins isn’t interested in seeing out his LCR contact under the current conditions and could be open to Yamaha even though it is also struggling for MotoGP performance.

In any case, it is not surprising that while Marquez is considering his own Honda future if it cannot give him a bike to fight for wins and world titles, then Rins is thinking the same due to the treatment he has felt from the Japanese manufacturer.

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