They say you never forget your first time and Alex Rins will no doubt hold on to his memories of success at Austin with pride. For Suzuki it meant a return to the highest step of the rostrum after a two and a half year absence, for the Spaniard a very first win in the reigning class.
A well-deserved victory, fruit of Alex's talent but also a great deal of hard work, which has translated into an outpouring of emotion. A few days after his Texas triumph, Rins put his thoughts down in a blog. Here it is:
"Everyone has dreams. Being able to enter MotoGP and join forces with Team SUZUKI ECSTAR was one dream achieved for me in 2017. At that time, as a rookie in the big class, a win seemed very far away. And although it was getting closer and closer, but still you wonder if it can really happen to you - it is perhaps one of the most difficult dreams to achieve in the world.
But perseverance is key when pursuing anything, and I was able to fulfil this incredible dream of mine in one of the most unexpected places, in Austin, Texas. It’s a circuit that I like, but we imagined our bike might experience a few struggles there.
And so, against expectations and almost by surprise, we achieved something magical, which was made even more special because it was unexpected. I had already won in Moto3 and Moto2 in Austin and it’s a difficult track, very technical, relentlessly long, with unusual characteristics. But despite my past success there, I hadn’t thought of it as the track where I’d take my debut win in the top class.
It was fabulous, indescribable, it was a Sunday of incredible happiness, celebrating a very important triumph for me and for Suzuki. The day after the race I read in the media that I had become the only rider to win there in all three classes.
Last year we took some strong podiums, and for this season we had set ourselves the goal of a first victory. This goal has now been achieved, three rounds into this 2019 season. It was not easy, even with Márquez out of the fight. In the first laps it cost me a lot just to follow the rhythm of the race pace. When I was behind Miller, I was very close and following him in the first laps, but there were still moments when I thought "Bah, I've lost it!” after running wide in a corner.
Then, when I got in front of Valentino, I thought that I would be overtaken again and that made me think just how crucial it was to avoid any mistakes until the end. It was really hard under the pressure, although incredibly emotional exiting from the last corner onto the home straight.
When I crossed the finish line, I saw all my team climbing up the fence on pit wall, and I could not have been happier than I was at that point. Then, when I got to Parc Ferme and saw everyone there, celebrating like crazy people! The emotions rushed over me! The party continued in the pit box, all together, we were on Cloud 9 - all singing and dancing, filming videos, taking pictures, immortalising the moment... I could hear all the great American fans cheering from outside, and TV cameras keen to get inside the box.
Plus, it was fantastic to wear the cowboy hat and hold that special ‘bull horns’ trophy…
The weekend wasn’t easy, and we had some mishaps; on Friday I locked myself out of the motorhome and Roby Brivio (Team Coordinator) had to climb in through the window and let us in! Anyway, the weekend finished in the best possible way; with Prosecco on the podium and a very special dinner with Joan, Davide, Ken, all my people, and the team.
Now it's time for the first race in Europe, the fourth round of the 2019 season. And it’s Jerez - one of the most thrilling and emotional places to ride. We will go all out again, in front of my fans and the Spanish people, for this very exciting race weekend. "