Alex Rins and LCR Honda Castrol scored an emphatic victory at the Grand Prix of The Americas. It was the first victory for the new Rins and LCR Honda Castrol pairing, which is just their third race together. Additionally, it was the first victory for a Honda in the 2023 MotoGP season.
Rins had thrown down the gauntlet early by recording the 3rd fastest time in the first two combined practice sessions on Friday. “I’m pleased after today’s result; I’ve felt comfortable on the bike I’ve always liked this track, and even though there are still some areas to improve, we’ve confirmed our step forward. I want to thank the team for their job,” said the Spanish rider.
That achievement put him directly through to Q2 (Qualifying 2) for Saturday.
Continuing his great form, he then qualified for the 2nd spot on the starting grid. And it was not just a flash in the pan, either, because Rins kept the momentum going by finishing 2nd in the Tissot Sprint Race later in the day, awarding the LCR Honda Castrol team’s first podium in the last 4 years. It was also the team’s 100th podium of all time.
READ HERE: MotoGP Sprint Race explained
Come Race Day on Sunday, Rins did not let poleman and race leader Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia escape this time and trailed him closely. Rins kept pushing Bagnaia until he went wide and lost the front of his Ducati. It was the second crash in two races for Bagnaia.
Rins then controlled the pace from the front of the race, leaving Luca Marini and Fabio Quartararo to fight it out for the 2nd and 3rd places on the podium.
Rins’ victory allayed fears that the rider could not accustom himself to the characteristics of the Honda RC213V, after being on the Suzuki GSX-RR for many years. His skill and determination also shined through despite all Honda riders found the bike difficult to ride.