Circuit of The Americas has been kind to Spanish MotoGP racer Alex Rins. Beginning with a Moto3 race win at COTA in 2013, Rins came back to win in the Moto2 class in 2016 before scoring the first MotoGP victory of his career at the Austin, Texas track in 2019.
“Wow. Being here is phenomenal!” said the LCR Honda rider. “I really, really enjoy the times here. After Argentina, we came here to America. I spent one week in Miami with my wife and last Sunday we came to Austin.
“Yeah, I’ve done great here in the past,” noted Rins who was runner-up at COTA a year ago. “This year everything is new with the new bike and the new team, so let’s see where we can race.”
In the Portuguese and Argentina races thus far in 2023, Rins took 10th- and ninth-place finishes respectively.
“I’m quite good with the performance because we are doing a great job in developing the bike,” reckoned Rins. “For sure I would like to get a victory, but we will see.
“As far as the new sprint races, they are a bit tricky. Especially for me because with the new bike and with everything being new, it’s a little bit tough to get to know all of these things, but we have a lot of good potential for the championship.”
After a six-year MotoGP stint with Suzuki, Rins was forced to look elsewhere when the manufacturer withdrew from the world series. The 26 year-old signed a two-year deal with LCR Honda to race its RC213V.
“Well, you know the team is quite nice and the bike is starting to get better in every race,” he said. “However, the most important thing is that the team is taking a lot of good care of me. So for sure all of this helps me to be fast and to learn more about the bike, you know?
Rins has already taken note that the competition in the division, boasting upwards of 25 world class racers and 12 individual race teams, is at a level he has never before experienced.
“The competition this year is even harder than last year — every year the level is always going up and so now a lot of us racers are racing on the same tenth of a second. It’s tough, but it is fun.”
Has Rins been able to make up any sort of performance gap present within the RC213V?
“Yes!” he answered adamantly. “The team makes a big difference, but the rider must be 100-percent focused. You cannot do a big mistake, you know?
“First of all, we need to improve the bike and get closer to the top guys and see if we can improve with our results,” he concedes. “Let’s start with a podium and then let’s see if we can achieve a victory.”
Asked if he believed he could make a run at the title with LCR Honda, Rins was pragmatic. “This year? I don’t think so. Being in the top 10 I think is quite realistic and a good result. With the Suzuki I was with them for many years — for six seasons. I improved that bike a lot. I think I have a good sensibility with where I am at with everything.”
His first step toward that ultimate goal comes Sunday afternoon in Texas. What are his expectations?
“To win,” smiled Rins. “I would like to finish at the top because this track is amazing and I really like it, but let’s see if we can qualify well and we can do a good race.”