Speaking from his training camp in the south of Portugal at Portimao, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins sat down via Zoom for a media debrief, talking all things from 2021 ambitions and returning to full fitness, to the hole left by Davide Brivio’s exit and who his biggest Championship rivals are.
It’s competition which fuels performance, and Rins knows that better than anybody as he shares a garage with incumbent MotoGP™ World Champion Joan Mir.
“The first rival is your teammate, so I will give 100% to beat him,” said the Spaniard as he began to outline his goals for the next season.
“He is the first one (rival). He got the title last year and for sure he will try to keep it. I see my rivals as very strong, already last year the competition was so high, a lot of different winners. The back-to-back races made everything tighter. The key to being World Champion is to be always on the front (attack).”
On the topic of rivals, the Barcelona man weighed in on the potential return of six-time MotoGP™ Champion Marc Marquez.
“It’s very difficult because we don’t know his condition. Everyone is talking a lot, but no one will know the truth until the last moment. Also, in the past, he was always covering a lot the reality so let’s see where he is. Talking about rivals, the first one is my teammate Mir as he got the title last year and for sure he will try to keep it.”
Marquez has been suffering the effects of an arm problem following a crash suffered last year in Jerez, something which Rins can relate to as he too sustained an injury at the same track in 2020. However, the path to recovery has been much smoother for the Suzuki man and he himself seemed pleased with his shoulder ahead of the new season.
“I’m really impressed. The shoulder is going really well, in the gym I don’t have any problems now. Before with this problem of the right shoulder, sometimes in the gym, there were problems but now I feel perfect.
“I’m in a better situation with his shoulder, it's more stable. I’m ready, our target is to be on the front and fight for the World Championship.”
Rins also spoke about the surprise departure of Team Manager Davide Brivio from the Hamamatsu factory, and their plans to leave the role vacant for 2021.
“We will miss him. We talked a lot and joked within the team and he always gave me advice. We will wait a few races and I hope to see him at races where he is a visitor. I wish him good luck with F1.
“The day before it was in the media, he (Brivio) called me and said he was leaving. I thought it was a joke, but it was true. It was a big shock for me and all the team. It looks like Suzuki don’t want to put anyone in right now. If they think like this, it is the best thing because it’s not easy to choose one Team Manager fast. I think the situation on the team is ok now so I think it will stay like this.
The Spaniard is coming into the year off the back off his best ever season in MotoGP™, following where a win and three podiums saw him claim 3rd in the Championship, but he is always seeking to eke out the minor details of improvements which will aid the team’s target of consecutive titles.
“We always can improve. Suzuki and the rest. We are at a very high level and I’m happy about this because we worked hard to get this. We are in the place we need to be. I can talk for myself. I work every day for the maximum. I think the bike is good. Let’s see where we are next year. The bikes will be the same because of the frozen engines. We can change the fairings and that’s it.”
He cannot wait to get back on GSX-RR ahead of what is sure to be another exhilarating season of MotoGP™ action, and we for one are eager to see what a fully fit Alex Rins can do in 2021.