Alex Rins says his 2021 struggles to net results made it “not easy” to carve through the field from tenth in the British Grand Prix to eventually finish second.
The Suzuki rider had failed to grace the rostrum this season prior to his Silverstone run, though had battled on several occasions for a top-three position prior to crashing out-most notably in the Portuguese GP at Portimao where he was the only rider to seriously challenge Fabio Quartararo for victory before sliding out en-route to retirement.
Rins managed to make good ground early on before making his way through the front runners to reach the runners-up spot just past mid-distance, the three-time premier class race winner looking after his rubber well to finally grab his first podium of the year-lifting him up to 11th in the riders standings as a result.
The Spaniard says his confidence in his GSX-RR to hang onto its tyres was key to finally breaking his rostrum duck, adding that he’s looking forward to adding to his trophy count next weekend at Aragon-a venue at which he secured his last victory to-date in 2020.
“It was an amazing race starting from tenth, it was not easy trying to overtake all the riders because the season so far has not been good because I had a lot of crashes earlier in the season fighting for podiums, and therefore my results haven’t been good,” said Rins.
“This second position is really nice because the team have worked hard, we always had the level to be here and finally we got it so we just need to keep pushing to Aragon which is a good track for us that holds good memories.
“I was confident with managing the tyres and the bike, which was crucial in finishing here at the end of the race.
“We’ve struggled to get this podium for sure, we’ve had a lot of up and downs during the season so I’m very happy to finish second and I wanted to try and repeat the result from two years ago but couldn’t quite do it, but I’m happy nonetheless.
“I’m confident for Aragon but the level in MotoGP is so high, our competitors our really strong at the moment so we’ll have to see what we can do.”
Tyre woes hamstring Mir’s victory charge
Reigning MotoGP world champion team-mate Joan Mir-also current championship leader Quartararo’s closest challenger-meanwhile suffered a race of opposing fortunes as he struggled to make his gamble of choosing the soft compound front tyre work.
Mir says that only five laps into the contest he felt the begin to lose grip, the tyre ending up “completely finished” by the end of the contest-an issue that saw him drop from the podium battle to ninth by the end-dropping to a distant 65 points adrift of race-winner Quartararo with only six rounds to go as a result.
“I’m so disappointed about the race, I felt really good at the beginning and was able to be really fast and put myself in the position I wanted to be in so that I could manage everything until the end of the race,” reflected Mir.
“Then with about 15 laps to go I started to feel something that was not right with the front tyre, then at the end it was completely finished so we need to try and understand why this happened because I was losing two or three seconds over the last five laps.
“It was really difficult but I know that our result today was not our real performance and maybe with a different tyre choice (there could have been more), but all weekend we did good work with this (soft) tyre but in the race we had a big problem, so it was a bit unpredictable.”