MotoGP 2023
Round 3

Rins Wins For Honda In Brilliant COTA Performance

us Circuit Of The Americas

Honda newcomer Alex Rins (LCR Honda CASTROL Honda RC213V) stormed to a brilliant victory in today’s Grand Prix of the Americas, ending a challenging period for Honda in the best possible way.

Rins Wins For Honda In Brilliant COTA Performance

Rins success was Honda’s eighth MotoGP winner from the ten MotoGP races staged at the Circuit of the Americas, since 2013. The result also moves him to third in the 2023 MotoGP World Championship.

Today’s third race of the 2023 season took place under clear Texan skies, with Rins building on the brilliant work he had done with his team during Friday and Saturday. Yesterday he qualified an excellent second fastest, just 0.160 seconds behind reigning World Champion Pecco Bagnaia, and from the start of the race it was the 27-year-old versus the reigning champ.

The pair quickly raced away from the rest of the pack, Rins riding like a hero though the circuit’s more twisting sections to keep Bagnaia in sight. Bagnaia won seven races and the title last year, so he was the favourite, but Rins never gave up, keeping the pressure on. Finally it worked. Bagnaia got Turn Two wrong at one-third distance, tumbling into the gravel trap.

That put Rins in the lead. His two main pursuers – Luca Marini and 2021 MotoGP World Champion Fabio Quartararo – tried everything they could to close the gap but Rins (who won here in 2019) never let the pressure get to him, finally taking the chequered flag by 3.498 seconds.

This was a huge success for his independent team – Lucio Cecchinello Racing – which won its last race in 2018, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL Honda RC213V). It also marked LCR’s 100th podium.

The win was also huge news for Honda, which won its last MotoGP race in 2021, with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V). Marquez was absent this weekend, recovering from a hand injury sustained at last month’s season-opening Portuguese GP.

COTA was not so kind to Honda’s other three riders today.
The trio all fell, with only 13 riders making it to the finish. Most fallers attributed their tumbles to the slippery track. Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V), Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda RC213V) and Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V) and Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V), who all slid off during the latter stages of the race, without injury.

Now Honda’s four MotoGP riders head west, back to Europe, where MotoGP’s European season starts with the Spanish GP at Jerez, Spain, on 30th April. That event is followed by the French, Italian, German and Dutch rounds. Motorcycling’s 75th season of World Championship racing concludes with the Valencia Grand Prix in Spain in late November.

Alex Rins
Alex Rins 42
The race was amazing. I’m so happy for what we did and for what we achieved. Honestly, we put some good lap times together and the tyres were there. It was quite a good race and I’m happy because the pace was faster than last year and the bike is more or less the same, so let’s keep going. 

Joan Mir
Joan Mir 36
Repsol Honda Team
Overtaking on this track is always a challenge here and I crashed while trying to battle with [Franky] Morbidelli. Everyone has good grip in the first laps, so it is hard to find an advantage early in the race. I was fine after the crash, it’s certainly a shame because we could have had a really good result here. The important point from this weekend is that we found something with the bike that I think can help us a lot in the future. It’s the best feeling I have had with this bike so far so we are focusing on this as we move towards Jerez. 

Takaaki Nakagami
Takaaki Nakagami 30
Today was a tough day for everyone because the conditions were so different from yesterday’s sprint race. The track was much cooler and maybe that was reason there were quite a few crashes. I had some hope of fighting for some points today, but we couldn’t not, because of my crash, so now we look to the next race in Jerez. Let’s keep pushing! 

Stefan Bradl
Stefan Bradl 6
Repsol Honda Team
Today we had a lot of potential, the top ten was right there. Of course I am disappointed not to be able to get this result because something like this gives you a big boost – especially when you are a rider like me stepping in for only a few races. It was a strange crash without much warning, but clearly the conditions on track were difficult with many falls. I was riding well and felt quite good on the bike, so this is very positive. 

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