LCR driver Álex Rins wins the MotoGP race in Austin/USA and redeems Honda: While his three brand colleagues fall in the race, the Spaniard keeps his nerve.
LCR Honda rider Álex Rins secured victory at the Austin Grand Prix. It was Honda’s first race win in MotoGP since Marc Marquez’s success at Misano in 2021.
The world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer had to wait 539 days for a MotoGP victory. Rins ended the longest 24-race winless streak since Honda’s return to the premier class in 1982.
Álex Rins successfully puts Francesco Bagnaia under pressure
Rins already demonstrated in qualifying and in the sprint race how well he harmonizes with the Circuit of the Americas. Starting from second on the grid, he finished second in the sprint race on Saturday. Only world champion Francesco Bagnaia on Ducati was faster.
And also in the main race a duel Bagnaia vs. Rins came to a head. “I tried to put pressure on Pecco,” says Rins. “When I changed direction, I attacked very hard to catch him.” The tactic worked. Bagnaia fell while in the lead.
Rins took the lead without a fight and controlled the race until the finish line. “I’m really happy. I was able to win here in Moto3, in Moto2, with Suzuki and with Honda. That makes me very happy. I’m really proud of my team,” says the Spaniard.
Thanks to Álex Rins: LCR boss Cecchinello celebrates major milestone
The win in Austin was also the 100th podium for LCR. “When I stopped by LCR in the winter, Lucio (Cecchinello) told me that they had 99 podiums. I thanked him for the extra pressure he put on me (laughs; editor’s note)”, jokes rinse
“We did it. I’m very happy about this win. I’m so proud. We worked really well all weekend. It’s only our third race,” says Rins, happy about the victory in Austin. Particularly impressive: Rins was able to win 50 percent of the last six MotoGP races.
It is unclear whether Rins would have been able to win the race even without Bagnaia’s blunder. “Before Pecco’s fall we were driving at a very high speed. I’m not sure if we would have kept up this speed to the end because the tires were reaching their limits,” muses the Honda rider.
Álex Rins risked a lot to follow Francesco Bagnaia
Could Rins see why Bagnaia crashed at Turn 2? “I suspect that he got a bit closer to the (outer) line and that’s why he fell. But I’m not sure,” notes the eventual winner.
“Step by step we are improving,” states Rins. But in the early stages, the Honda newcomer took a certain risk to not let Bagnaia escape.
“It wasn’t easy because Pecco had a really good race pace. I wanted to close the gap in the first two sectors. To be honest, I took a certain risk,” reveals Rins.
Álex Rins: Concentration problems after Bagnaia’s fall
“After his crash I wanted to be fully focused. I realized that I was leading. I lost a bit of concentration for a lap or a lap and a half,” admits Rins, who was about two seconds ahead of Fabio Quartararo and Luca Marini.
“The other drivers were able to close the gap a bit. After that, I made an effort to avoid mistakes and drive my style. In the end we made it,” Rins breathed a sigh of relief. “The LCR team really deserves this podium. They welcomed me with open arms.”
Thanks to the 25 points for the win, Rins travels to the home Grand Prix in Jerez as third in the World Championship. “We have to go into the coming races with the same approach and keep our feet on the ground. We’re starting from scratch because the circuits are new to me with the Honda. We have to find a good base again and then build on that.” Rins the procedure.
In modern MotoGP only seven riders have managed to win races with two different manufacturers. Rins is the eighth rider to triumph with different manufacturers, after Jack Miller, Andrea Dovizioso, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, Maverick Vinales, Max Biaggi and Valentino Rossi.