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MotoGP: Rins out to beat Vinales achivements

"I'll try to equal what he did - or even beat it" - Alex Rins.
Alex Rins has his sights set on top MotoGP rookie honours and a favourable comparison with Suzuki predecessor Maverick Vinales.

Like Vinales, Rins is joining the premier-class on a GSX-RR after winning four races for the Pons team in Moto2. The difference is that Vinales spent only one season in the intermediate class, with two for Rins.

“From what I saw in Valencia, the goal will be to end the season Rookie of the Year – and beat the riders I was racing against in Moto2," Rins told the official MotoGP website, referring to the 600cc rivals that will also be stepping up to the premier-class; Johann Zarco, Sam Lowes and Jonas Folger.

“Obviously it's going to be a lot of pressure, because I'm replacing Maverick at Suzuki. And in Moto2, he left Paginas Amarillas HP40 and I joined them, so there's always been a bit of comparison.

"But hopefully that will continue in MotoGP due to me having had two incredible seasons. I'll try to equal what he did - or even beat it.”

Vinales finished twelfth overall in his debut MotoGP campaign, with a best race finish of sixth.

The young Spaniard then soon got the better of experienced team-mate Aleix Espargaro last season, when he took the improved GSX-RR to four podiums - including one historic win - before leaving for Yamaha.

While Vinales was topping the timesheets for his new team at November's Valencia test, Rins suffered a back injury, forcing him to miss a following private test at Jerez.

“It was quite hard. I had a whole month in the corset and trying to rest, because back injuries are something to take seriously," he said. "The crash was a strange one because I fell, and then a couple of laps later my team-mate, Andrea Iannone, fell in exactly the same place.

"We went through the telemetry trying to determine the cause but we didn't find anything. I took the same trajectory, the front wheel locked, and I lost it.”

Rins will join Iannone at the Suzuki team launch on January 29th, then be on track the following day for the start of the official Sepang test.

Tagged as: Rins

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