Rins: I feel like a real MotoGP rider now after Phillip Island
Suzuki’s Alex Rins says he now feels like a real MotoGP rider following the second pre-season test at Phillip Island, after the Spaniard finished in the top six.
The Moto2 graduate, who injured his back in a crash in Valencia last November, got off to a slow start at Sepang, where he was 12th fastest and some way off the pace of teammate Andrea Iannone.
But the situation was reversed this week in Australia, where Rins ended up sixth on the final day, just over half a second shy of pacesetter Maverick Vinales on the Yamaha, despite suffering a crash at Turn 2.
On Thursday, the Spaniard also tried out Suzuki's new 'winglet fairing' for the first time, and did further running with the new bodywork on Friday.
Asked if he felt like a real MotoGP rider now after his strong Phillip Island showing, Rins replied: “Yes, I start to feel this.
"For sure we have a lot of work, it’s not easy to arrive at one track on a MotoGP bike and be fast. So for sure I will try my best, and work really hard with the engineers to try to get this feeling.
"I’m happy because we’re always improving. I was trying to keep the lines in the fast corners, and I think that we finished in a good position."
Discussing where he had made improvements since the Sepang test, he added: “I think it was me adapting to the bike, and also to the track. This one is always difficult to take all the perfect lines during the lap.
“Lap by lap I was trying to focus on that. For sure we improve a little bit on the fast corners, but I’m happy because we are improving quite fast.
“It’s not easy to be constant on a MotoGP bike, so I will try to stay in the top 15, top 10. I will do my best to stay there."
Iannone focused on long runs
After being the second-fastest rider of the week in Sepang, Iannone ended up in 12th place on Friday at Phillip Island, nearly a second off the pace.
The Italian put this down to running out of fresh tyres on which to go out for a single lap.
“Unfortunately I didn’t manage to use a new tyre to do a time at the end, because we didn’t have any more rear tyres having already done two long runs,” said Iannone.
“So for this we are not high in the times, but if we look at the race pace we are not too far.”
He added: “I haven’t finished adapting to the new bike, so I think that as the days go on things will get better from this point of view.
“It feels completely different on every track compared to before, so getting to the limit isn’t easy, because I have to take it one step at a time.”
Additional reporting by Andrew van Leeuwen and Oriol Puidgemont
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About this article
|Event||Phillip Island February testing|
|Location||Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit|
|Drivers||Andrea Iannone Shop Now , Alex Rins|
|Teams||Team Suzuki MotoGP|