The record set by Valentino Rossi that could be matched in Portimao

A victory for Alex Rins in Portimao on Sunday would see him equal a MotoGP record set by Valentino Rossi.

Valentino Rossi (ITA) in conferenza stampa World Rally of New Zealand, 17th-19th November
Valentino Rossi (ITA) in conferenza stampa World Rally of New Zealand,…

‘The Doctor’ is the most recent rider in the premier class to win two consecutive races with different manufacturers.

Rins won the 2022 season-finale in Valencia with Suzuki and has now joined Honda, so victory at this weekend’s 2023 curtain-raising Portuguese MotoGP would put him in the history books.

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Rossi achieved the feat at the first grand prix of 2004 in South Africa, on his first appearance with Yamaha.

He had previously won the final race of 2003, the Valencia MotoGP, with Honda - bringing to a close a relationship which earned him his first three championships in the premier class.

But his move to Yamaha, beginning in South Africa, became synonymous with his legendary career. An opening-weekend win set the tone for a title-winning year.

Alex Rins, Portimao MotoGP test, 12 March
Alex Rins, Portimao MotoGP test, 12 March

Jorge Lorenzo missed the opportunity to match Rossi’s record - he won on the last day of 2015 with Yamaha, but fell short at the first race of 2016 with Ducati.

Rins, then, has an extra incentive to start his journey with Honda in Portimao this weekend.

He delivered the perfect conclusion to Suzuki’s final race in Valencia last year, before the manufacturer exited MotoGP.

Now, with LCR Honda, he is vying to restore the fallen Japanese manufacturer back to the summit.

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