Can Alex Rins emulate Valentino Rossi in Portimao?

The Spaniard won last season’s finale and after joining Honda, will be aiming to do what only the MotoGP™ Legend has ever done

A new adventure awaits Alex Rins in MotoGP™. The Spaniard joins LCR Honda Castrol after a six year stint with Suzuki unexpectedly came to an end with the Hamamatsu factory’s withdrawal from the Championship, but he did ensure it was a memorable goodbye with victory in Valencia last year.


The #42 now jumps aboard the RC213V for 2023 with the mission of playing a crucial role in restoring Honda to their former glory, and at Round 1 in Portimao, he has a chance of carving out some MotoGP™ history. If Rins were to take victory this weekend, he would become the first rider since Valentino Rossi to win consecutive races with different manufacturers.

It’s been nearly two decades since we saw ‘The Doctor’ debut on the Yamaha in Welkom, and it has gone down in the annals of history as one of the great motorcycle races. Having joined the Iwata factory as a three in a row premier class World Champion with Honda, Rossi went wheel to wheel with Max Biaggi in a thrilling race in our last visit to South Africa in 2004, and it proved the perfect launch pad for another title winning campaign for the #46.

Since then, only Jorge Lorenzo has had the opportunity to emulate Rossi, when he left Yamaha in 2016 for Ducati, but after his final day victory in Valencia, he couldn’t crack the top 10 on opening night in Qatar 2017.

While victory on Sunday may not be the foremost thought on Rins’ mind, given that he is still adapting to a bike that has failed to make a significant on track impression in recent years, the Algarve International Circuit is one that the Spaniard has performed well in the past. Last season’s GP saw him go from the back of the grid to narrowly missing out on a podium in P4.

Alex Rins, LCR Honda Castrol, Portimao MotoGP™ Official Test

It may be a long shot, but a chance of MotoGP™ history awaits Alex Rins on Sunday if he can put in a performance for the ages and take the chequered flag first, and it could prove the perfect platform to see lift off in his Honda career.

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