Rins drops strong hint over his preferred 2023 MotoGP ride - The Race

Rins drops strong hint over his preferred 2023 MotoGP ride

Jun 23 2022
By Simon Patterson

Suzuki MotoGP rider Alex Rins has indicated that his priority for 2023 is to have a factory-spec bike – which theoretically puts one team in pole position to sign him.

Left hunting for a new ride after Suzuki’s sensational decision to seek an end to its MotoGP participation, the 26-year-old Spaniard has more or less seen the factory team silly season pass him by, and is now expected to wind up at one of three high-profile satellite teams for 2023.

But only one of these teams can offer him a 2023-spec bike next year.

Alex Rins Suzuki MotoGP

Given the respective 2022 performances of Enea Bastianini and Aleix Espargaro, both Gresini Ducati and Aprilia’s new satellite squad RNF represent attractive options – but neither outfit appears in a position to give Rins a factory-spec machine.

“Maybe we can think of having a factory machine in the garage on either side – but I would say it’s very, very unlikely for 2023,” Gresini commercial boss Carlo Merlini told The Race earlier this month.

“It will be the last version of the [Aprilia] bike from the last round of the 2022 championship,” RNF boss Razlan Razali likewise told The Race of his team’s 2023 set-up.

And with Tech3 KTM expected to bring in Pol Espargaro while retaining one of its current rookies, that in theory only leaves the LCR Honda option.

This move – which has been reported by Sky Italia in the lead-up to this Dutch TT weekend as having been already agreed – would presumably mean Rins remaining in the same camp as current Suzuki team-mate Joan Mir, who is a strong favourite to land a factory Repsol Honda ride.

“I’m interested in all the options, this is for sure. [But to me] there are options that look better than the other,” Rins told media at Assen.

“Because, you know – I don’t know if this one will sound a little bit selfish, but I think I deserve a 2023 bike, let’s say like this. Because we’ve worked really hard.

“There are options that can provide me a 2023 bike… [and] there are options that, without providing me a 2023 bike, are quite interesting and nice.

“So let’s decide. It’s not easy. I’m in a good situation. I don’t like to say no to a team that is interested to me. So, we are analysing quite well the situation.”

LCR Honda has had a full-factory line-up of bikes since 2021, and could go into next year with an all-new rider roster.

Alex Marquez LCR Honda MotoGP

Rins would likely take the place of Alex Marquez – who could then wind up at Gresini or RNF – while on the other side of the garage Takaaki Nakagami may struggle to retain his Idemitsu-backed seat against pressure from Moto2 frontrunner Ai Ogura.

Asked what the most important factor was for him in making his 2023 decision, Rins said: “I would like to say to have a 2023 bike. But, there is one way that the bike is not 2023 but it’s [still] a good thing.

“It’s difficult to say something [more concrete] because, you say the teams without saying the names.

“For sure I would like to race a 2023 bike. I would like to.”

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