Alex Rins Adapting To Changes At Honda LCR
Alex Rins, who joined Honda LCR after leaving Suzuki made his debut on the LCR bike at Valencia. After his first stint on the bike, Rins says that his first ride was complicated. However, he didn't think it was a bad bike at all.
Suzuki decided to leave MotoGP for good after the 2022 season. Thus, the five-time MotoGP racer had to find a new camp to shelter in. Luckily, Honda LCR took him up on a two-year factory contract for the 2023 season.
Rins came into Honda during a very difficult time, however. The Japanese marquee has registered its second campaign with zero wins in three years. Moreover, all the riders complained that the 2022 bike felt unwilling to give its best on the track.
During the test race at Valencia last November, Rins was 20th on the standings and 1.1 seconds off the pace. In an exclusive interview with Motosport.com, Rins talked about his feelings about the RC213V.
"You are lucky, it's the first time I'm going to talk publicly about Honda, this means a new chapter in my life and I'm happy," Rins begins.
"The truth is that it was a strange feeling, it was complicated because it is a very different bike to the Suzuki.
"But I have to say that I didn't think it was such a bad bike.
"What I found most difficult was the response of the engine, the connection of the gas to the power, to the rear wheel. It's very sweet, like it doesn't have lows and has a lot of highs. We were adapting it and I didn't quite get the hang of it.
However, Rins emphasizes that he liked the bike. The veteran racer was a second and two-tenths off the mark. Nevertheless, Rins makes a point that it was not due to the bike's shortcomings. Rather, he was having a difficult time adapting to a new bike at first.
"Not An Easy Bike To Ride"
"It seemed to me not an easy bike to ride, because all the bikes are difficult, but with enough potential."
Rins has never ridden anything but a Suzuki machine in all of his six seasons at MotoGP. However, he insists that he won't be trying to make the RC213V a second GSX-RR.
"I think that arriving at Honda with or without experience from another bike is the same thing," he added.
Adapting To Changes
Accepting that Suzuki had a lot more cornering capacity, Rins however states that it was time for a change after six years.
"Adapting to a new bike takes hours. This January I'm going to go training with a Honda 1000 [street bike] to several circuits, but no matter how many hours I do with that bike, it's not going to resemble a race bike.
"In the end there is only one MotoGP bike, and it is very difficult to replicate the work you do with it.
Rins has reportedly stated to Honda that he does not want their bike to become a copy of Suzuki.
"The Honda will have its bad things, but also good things. I will always tell them how I did it at Suzuki, but not to make a bike like that one, but to put everything on the table."
Rins will also be joined at Honda by former Suzuki teammate Joan Mir in the 2023 season. Joan will be partnering with Marc Marquez at the factory squad for the next two seasons, however.
With a slew of new faces on the team, let's see if Honda can make a comeback in 2023.