Team Suzuki Ecstar's Alex Rins recently sat down with his team for a quick Q&A on what his life looks like during the current lockdown. The Spaniard, and now a two-time MotoGP™ race winner after the 2019 season, understandably says he cannot wait to get back aboard his GSX-RR but is pleading with fans to #StayAtHome in the hope we can be back at a race circuit near you as soon as possible.
QUESTION: Did you imagine that this situation would become so important and directly affect your work?
ALEX RINS: “What is happening is something nobody could ever imagine. We are living through a very strange and important moment in history and this is something which won’t be forgotten in a hurry. So no, I couldn’t imagine that something like this could stop our work and our lifestyle.”
Q: How are you able to cope with staying at home all day during the Covid-19 crisis?
AR: “Well, the first thing I’m doing is staying calm, I think that’s important for everyone. I understand that these are exceptional circumstances and that we just have to adapt, that’s our only choice. I try to keep a routine during these weeks at home; training and exercise, rest, and spending more time with my partner and my dogs.”
Q. What is the most important part of your routine which keeps you feeling positive during the lockdown?
AR. “Working out and exercising at home are crucial for me as an athlete. You have to try and replicate what you’d do under ‘normal’ conditions, but there are several things you can’t do, so in that case you have to use your imagination and find new ways to train or new equipment to use.”
Q. How has this global crisis which has paralysed the world, including sports, affected your way of life?
AR. “We were prepared to compete and just at the last moment we heard about the cancellation of the Qatar race. It was definitely the right decision because quite soon after we began to understand the magnitude of the situation. It was hard to be mentally and physically ready to attack the racing season, and then have it taken away. But in the end I think it affects me like any other person; it’s a difficult time. I’m just trying to keep a good routine and stay physically as prepared as possible.”
Q. You spent a whole winter without races, you did all the testing, and then you were forced to wait indefinitely due to the Coronavirus. Mentally, how does it affect the head of an athlete who was highly prepared to start the championship campaign?
AR. “At first it was a big disappointment, we really wanted to start, especially as we’d just had the first tests after a long winter, and the testing went well for us at Suzuki. But you stop those feelings of disappointment and then you just want to do all you can to protect your loved ones and to have this over as soon as possible. But of course, physically and mentally I stay prepared for racing.”
Q. And what has it taught you about life?
AR. “Well, you suddenly realise that everyday things, that you normally ignore or don’t notice, have so much more value than you give them. Simple things like family, friends, and of course, health.”
Q. Have your training strategy, your diet, and your routines changed much?
AR. “I have adapted my strategy to the particular conditions that we are experiencing, the routine and diet are basically the same but with a few adaptations to account for the restrictions.”
Q. What is the best way to maintain your form and fitness during these days?
AR. “I don't know if there is really a particular formula to achieve that, but what I do is just try to maintain normality as much as possible. It’s important to keep in good shape both physically and mentally, and always ready to start racing.”
Q. In the absence of riding a motorcycle, your favourite way to pass the time is…
AR. “I have a small area within my house that I have created for exercise, so I spend a lot of time there. I also like playing with my dogs, and I am taking the opportunity to try new things that I didn't have time for before.”
Q. The World Championship will start after a long delay, and there will be a lot of races close together in the final part of the season. How could this affect things?
AR. “Well, the truth is that I don't know, it's something that has never happened so we’re all learning to go with the flow. Various options are being considered regarding the distribution of the GP races. Dorna is working hard and dealing with a very difficult situation. It will be really tough to have so many races close together but I am sure that when we’re able to restart there will be a very nice championship and it will provide the fans with some great action!”
Q. How are the people around you coping with the lack of racing activity?
AR. “I think everyone is coping well. It is an extraordinary situation to adapt to, but it’s an adaptation that everyone has to make; not just a rider like me, but every citizen.”
Q. Do you think this delay in starting and ending the World Championship will affect you positively or negatively?
AR. “The Team and I were really prepared to start the season; we were in good form and ready to attack. Now we have to maintain that level in order to be ready to compete when the season starts. I am prepared for the championship in whatever format it takes.”
Q. Would you like to send a message to all motorcycling fans who are looking forward to the start of the championship?
AR. “Simply; please be patient and take great care! Everyone must be responsible and follow the recommendations of the health authorities. I promise that we will try to put on a great show as soon as we can race again, but let’s focus on getting back to normality first.”