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MotoGP, Cecchinello: "with Toprak in Yamaha Rins would not have been able to leave Honda"

The background on Alex's move to the Iwata manufacturer: “He had a clause that he could only leave for an official team. His manager has always been very honest, but I was convinced that Razgatlioglu would race with Quartararo."

MotoGP: Cecchinello: "with Toprak in Yamaha Rins would not have been able to leave Honda"


There are only two races left until the end of a 2023 that is certainly very different from what Lucio Cecchinello would have expected. Three rounds after celebrating Alex Rins' victory in Texas, the only success achieved by Honda so far this season, the boss of the LCR team had to do without his rider for almost the entire remaining part of the championship, due to the injury picked up by the Spaniard at Mugello.

A fracture of the tibia and fibula forced the 27-year-old to undergo a double operation on his right leg, which was followed by a long period of convalescence. During which Rins decided to leave Cecchinello's team a year before the contract expired, to join Yamaha. A move that also came about due to an error in judgment by Lucio, as he himself told our Speedweek colleagues.

“Alex had a two-year contract with HRC, which allowed him to leave only if he received an offer from an official MotoGP team. His manager has always been very honest, and he told me: 'The only option would be to move to Yamaha'. Because all the other teams didn't have space, while in Yamaha Morbidelli's future was uncertain - explained the 54-year-old - I was still convinced that Toprak Razgatlioglu would race alongside Fabio Quartararo in Yamaha next year. It was an option. It would have made sense to me if Yamaha had signed an interesting and talented rider like Toprak for MotoGP. I was pretty sure this was going to happen, but I was wrong at the time. It wasn't just Yamaha that was surprised when Toprak signed with BMW for SBK."

It remains to be seen whether Cecchinello will be able to see Alex again in action in the last event of the year in Valencia. The Catalan rider will in fact have to undergo further tests after the operation he underwent following his retirement in Australia, which forced him to miss the races in Thailand, Malaysia and this weekend in Qatar. What is certain, however, is that the Veneto manager will be able to field Johann Zarco starting from next season, given that the Frenchman refused the move to the official Honda team, as a replacement for Marc Marquez.

“We signed the agreement with Johann at the end of August and made it public a few days later. It is a contract that involves three partners: Zarco, HRC and LCR - commented Cecchinello - It was always envisaged that Zarco would race for LCR for the next two years. It is established by the contract”.


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