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MotoGP USA | Alex Rins needs strength to ride ‘more demanding’ Honda fast

Alex Rins cut a confident figure following his run to the podium in the Grand Prix of The Americas MotoGP Sprint Race in only his fifth outing since joining Honda for the 2023 MotoGP World Championship.

The Spaniard stole the headlines on ‘Super Saturday’ at Circuit of The Americas by placing the satellite LCR Honda second on the grid and following it up with a hard fought run to second place at the flag too.

On the way, Rins briefly led on the opening lap when he caught Pecco Bagnaia by surprise coming underneath him through Turn 7, though the sheer top end grunt of the Ducati would carry the Italian through again moments later on the back straight.


Thereafter Rins battled it out for a podium and despite more than one wide moment coming out Turn 12 - a symptom of temperatures rising sharply for the 10-lap race - he was able to out-last Aleix Espargaro and bring it home some +2.5s shy of victory.

“We had a really great day in qualifying and in the Sprint Race, I did my maximum," he said in the post-Sprint Race press conference. I tried to overtake Pecco as soon as possible because I knew he had a really great pace. 

“I tried to ride on  my own but he overtook me and then in Turn 12 I went completely straight because with these hotter temperatures it was hard to brake and stop the bike, but we did a great race, 

Representing Honda’s best finish of the season, as well as LCR’s first top three since the 2019 Australian MotoGP, Rins admits the result doesn’t come easily to him, pointing out that the Honda RC213V package is ‘more demanding’ than the Suzuki GSX-RR he raced from his debut in 2017 and requires him to use more strength.

“For sure this bike is not the same as I was riding last year and what I can say, on the chicanes, this one is more demanding, I need more strength in my body to be fast.”

Rins also echoed the words of his new Honda counterparts by suggesting the Honda needs improvements getting traction out of the slower corners if it is to make the most of its performance relative to Ducati

“I was lucky I had Aleix on the back and not a Ducati, because when I was behind Pecco, it was difficult to get the traction. The speed of the engine, it’s a traction thing and exiting from the slow corners, but the front is in the air. We need to improve this to have more power on the bike. We need to improve in that area to be closer.”

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