Alex Rins. Him again! At this point, the Spaniard is no longer a surprise. He is even Marc Marquez's direct rival in the race for the title. The numbers say it all, and Suzuki's rider from Spain is just one point away from his compatriot. He may not have won at Jerez, but he managed to bring home a precious second place.
"I'm very happy with this result ," Rins began. "It was difficult to reach a second position here in Jerez, starting so far back on the grid. I must say that I struggled in the race to overtake the Ducati due to their acceleration. Apart from this, I always gave 100% during the weekend. But I feel I have great confidence in the race, and I felt I could push harder today, allowing me to overtake and gain some positions, and that’s what happened."
Rins then speaks about the Grand Prix.
"The pace was good, and I was aware of this from the start," he revealed. "The fact is that Jerez is a narrow track, and so I lost a lot of time overtaking. Certainly, being only one point away from Marc in the Championship is great. During the winter, we already knew we had a strong bike that was ready to win. We have many races ahead of us. It won't be easy, but I'll do everything to always give my best."
One of Rins' striking aspects is his style on the bike.
"True. I maybe resemble some rider from the 80s-90s. In braking, I'm always straight with my body. It's my characteristic. We can say, unicorn style.”
The attention then shifts to the tires.
"It was more difficult than usual in the race, since we decided to fit a softer compound on the front with respect to the other riders. In fact, during the last five laps, I was very close, especially when braking. Instead, I must say that I didn't detect any problems with wear on the rear."
About the scuffle with Ducati.
"In the beginning, I had to deal with Petrucci, then I struggled a lot to overtake Dovi. It's true that the Suzuki does nicely in corners, but the Ducati can rely on strong braking, as well as acceleration."
With its second place in Jerez, this Suzuki has all it takes to play a leading role.
"From the tests, I realized I had a very competitive bike ," he recalled. "There is certainly still a lot of work to be done to improve, but inside me, I'm enthusiastic about what I did with the team and about the value expressed by the bike. In the Championship, we're second, a great position but, like I said, there are still many races where it'll be necessary to give 100% until the end."
The World Championship is one of the topics on which the Suzuki rider was pressed.
"To tell you the truth, I don't think about it. I'm 23 and have lots of races ahead of me, and my only goal is to confirm the great work we're doing. Unfortunately, even here in Jerez we started behind in the qualifying session, and this is an aspect to be resolved for the next races, since starting ahead is certainly better."
Tomorrow you'll already be back on the bike.
"We'll have to improve in braking because the bike is not yet completely stable. Precisely for this reason, we'll be trying a spoiler in view of the test day here in Jerez."
Audio recorded by Paolo Scalera