Rins: Biggest difference not V4 or Inline engine, it’s aero

Aerodynamics now have a bigger impact on MotoGP bike behaviour than the difference between a V4 or Inline4 engine design, according to Alex Rins.
Alex Rins, Valencia MotoGP test 28 November
Alex Rins, Valencia MotoGP test 28 November

The Spanish star has ridden with both types of engine in recent seasons, winning five races on the Inline-powered Suzuki from 2017 to 2022, then taking the V4 LCR Honda to a shock victory at COTA this year.

The 27-year-old, still recovering from leg fractures at Mugello, is now returning to an Inline4 by joining the Monster Yamaha team.

But while key design elements of the GSX-RR and YZR-M1 might appear similar on paper, Rins described the Yamaha as a “very different bike compared to the Suzuki.

“I can enter the corner with more front brake [for example] and this is good because you can gain a little bit on the lap time."

Rins then explained: “I think right now the difference between a V4 engine or an Inline4 is not the biggest difference on the bike.

“Right now, the biggest difference is the aero side. The aero makes you turn better or not, honestly, from my experience with other bikes.

“For example, with the Yamaha [at the Valencia test] I was riding with the standard fairing and with the wind I had a lot of wheelie.

“And when we tried the different [new] fairing, I felt less wheelie and more turning.

“So I think the difference now between the engine [design] disappears.”

Rins was 19th fastest on his Yamaha debut at the Valencia test, but only half a second from new team-mate Fabio Quartararo.

“It was super good. I felt quite comfortable with the bike,” Rins said.

“We split the day in two. In the morning they gave me the setup of Fabio from the race and it was just laps, laps, laps to understand the bike

“Then in the afternoon, we tested some new fairings and, as far as I know, one of the two fairings works better than the standard one.

“So I was quite happy overall.”

Rins gave the GSX-RR a dream farewell with victory in its final race at Valencia 2022. Meanwhile, the Yamaha M1’s losing drought is longer, with its most recent victory several months earlier, in Germany that year.

Rins will be back on the M1 for the Sepang Shakedown test in early February, which Yamaha and Honda race riders are now eligible for due to the revised concessions rankings.

Suzuki's MotoGP exit left Yamaha as the only MotoGP manufacturer not to use a V4 engine.

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