Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) took his second ever premier class podium in the Motul TT Assen, with the Suzuki rider in the thick of the fight from the start to the second step on the podium and protagonist of some stunning moments. It was one of the best ever - and one of the most difficult.
“It was incredible for me,” smiles Rins. “It was the hardest race of my life in MotoGP! We knew it was going to be a difficult race with a lot of riders at the front but we managed it well. In the middle of the race I was trying to push, and with around 10 to go I was fourth or fifth…the front group had gone a bit but I was pushing to catch them because I knew I could finish on the podium.”
That he did. And in that fight in the middle of the race came one of two spectacular moments for Rins; his overtake on Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) at Turn 5.
“Two or three laps before I overtook Marc, I saw he was strong at that corner,” explains the Hamamatsu factory rider. “And I was feeling great so I thought….‘Why not?!’”
Why not, indeed! And he made it stick on Marquez as Marquez had on Dovizioso before him – but that wasn’t the end of the story. The reigning Champion then tried to stick it out around the outside, and his race almost ended there and then…
Asked about it, even Marquez didn’t really know how he’d stayed on. “I don’t know…I just saw a photo and it was crazy! We had contact, Rins touched me but in the end it was my mistake. I was on the outside and there you have to understand that whoever is inside has the advantage. I had the contact, but then I nearly fell off the bike! My left foot, left hand…and I was trying to adjust the clutch lever on the straight!”
Hearts back from mouths and everything gathered back together, the battle continued and Rins continued to impress. By the final lap he was on the tail of Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in the fight for second, and the Suzuki rider dealt his second seriously impressive blow of the race as he pounced in the final sector. Holding onto it over the line, it was his best finish yet, going one better than his maiden MotoGP™ podium in Argentina.
Can he do it again next time out? We’ll see at the Sachsenring on the 15th July.