With Suzuki’s MotoGP exit now official, Rins and LCR Honda have become the latest domino to fall in the 2023 rider market. 

When the announcement of Suzuki’s intention to leave MotoGP at the end of 2022 was made following Jerez, rumours linking the Spaniard to possible seats at Gresini Ducati and the new RNF Aprilia project were intense. 

But with current team-mate Joan Mir also expected to sign for Honda in the form of its Repsol Honda team, LCR quickly tuned into the most likely landing spot for Rins, before the former Moto3 and Moto2 runner-up officially put pen to paper.

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“I am very happy to be joining the LCR Honda Team. Changing team and bike is a challenge but I am ready to give my 100% and to put into practice everything that I’ve learnt during my years in the MotoGP class.

"Lucio and Honda’s trust have been crucial for me in deciding to take on this challenge with this factory. I would like to thank them for this opportunity.”

Replacing the outgoing Alex Marquez who joined Gresini Ducati a few weeks ago, the move to Honda marks Rins’ first team/manufacturer swap since joining MotoGP in 2017. 

With Honda in the midst of another dreadful 2022 MotoGP campaign, the signing of Rins gives them another proven premier class winner and a rider that’s consistently been fast since entering MotoGP. 

Speaking after the signing of Rins, Team Owner Lucio Cecchinello said: “I am delighted to announce that Álex Rins will be the LCR Honda CASTROL rider in 2023. We’ve just finished signing the contract, all 3 parties, so we are finally able to announce it. Rins is an experienced rider, a fast rider and a podium finisher. 

This wealth of experience, coupled with Rins’ ability to give the precise suggestions to his technicians, as I’ve heard, will surely help us to improve our bike package, aiming to fight for more podiums.”

A title contender earlier this season, as was the case for team-mate Mir, Rins’s last top five finish came in Portimao after a crash in Le Mans and two unfortunate incidents with Takaaki Nakagami resulted in DNF’s at Mugello and Catalunya. 

After missing the German Grand Prix due to injury, Rins finished tenth in Assen which was the last race before the summer break.