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26 days ago
By motogp.com

High 5: Rins secures fifth podium of 2018 in Valencia

P2 in the last final of the season also ensures P5 in the Championship as the Spaniard and Suzuki end the year in fine form

Alex Rins ensured he and the Team Suzuki Ecstar team ended 2018 on a high after the Spaniard secured his fifth podium of the season, crossing the line in P2 in a two-part Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana.

Rins: "We keep it at the maximum and I could do what I did"

Saturday saw Rins put his GSX-RR machine on the front row for the first time in his premier class career and after a blistering launch start, the Spaniard set a scorching pace in not so scorching Valencia conditions to compile a three-second lead over Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) after three laps.

This lead was his before getting passed at Turn 11 as the rain was relentless, right before the red flags were shown on lap 14. With grid positions for the re-start being decided on the classification from lap 13, with the Suzuki man starting ‘Race 2’ from pole position. The holeshot and early lead belonged to the number 42 again, but there was no stopping Dovizioso from taking the win, with Rins crossing the line in P2 after second place Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) crashed out with five laps remaining. It was a sensational ride in sodden conditions, and one that Rins was understandably chuffed with.

“I’m very happy for this podium, the track was dangerous and slippery,” began the 22-year-old. “In the first race, the gap with Dovizioso, that they closed later, but at the beginning, on the first lap, when I saw ‘Dovizioso 6 seconds’ on the pit board, it was incredible. More or less the strategy for the second race was the same. I was trying to push from the beginning, then Valentino and Dovizioso caught me because they were stronger than me but I’m very happy anyway.”

Aforementioned, this podium racked up five for the season for Rins, and Suzuki’s ninth. It was a result that also ensured fifth in the Championship for Rins – high fives all round then, with both rider and machine looking good for victory challenges in 2019:

“I think we did an incredible season: 5 podiums for me, 9 for Suzuki, which is incredible. We got a lot of information for next year, which will be nice.”

An important preseason now awaits the Hamamatsu factory, as they won’t have their concessions available to them next season. 

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