Alex Rins: More days to test, more things to test

His wife might not like it, but Alex Rins knows he is in for a busy debut season as a factory Yamaha MotoGP rider.
Alex Rins, Valencia MotoGP test 28 November
Alex Rins, Valencia MotoGP test 28 November

The revised concessions rules mean that Yamaha and Honda are now eligible to take part in private testing with their race riders.

Honda is rumoured to be considering over 20 private tests.

Yamaha is yet to confirm its private testing plans but, like Honda, will have its MotoGP race riders on track for the Sepang Shakedown test, which precedes the official February 6-8 outing.

“They are working on this [private testing] plan. For sure I will do the Shakedown test... More days to test, means more things to test,” said Rins after his M1 debut at Valencia.

“I'm feeling good because it gives me the opportunity to be more ready for the start of the season.”

But it also means Rins will be spending even less time at home, during a year that already includes a record 22 Grands Prix plus six Official tests.

“My wife is not happy!” he joked.

Among the things that Rins will be working on in Malaysia are the ‘throttle management’ and electronics, although he disagreed with the verdict of some riders who have described the M1 as ‘aggressive’.

“I felt the bike quite smooth, honestly. More than I was expecting,” he said. “In terms of the throttle response, we need to still adapt the electronic side to my riding style, but it felt quite… Not aggressive. Normal.”

Aiding Rins in adapting to the M1, his third different MotoGP machine in three seasons, will be former Suzuki engine management engineer, Yuta Shimabukuro.

Rins said Shimabukuro, who spent 2023 with GASGAS Tech3, had already proven his worth at the Valencia test.

“The fact that we have him in the team [Yamaha] is quite nice because he has a lot of experience with the Suzuki bike,” said Rins. “Then he was one year with GASGAS, the KTM.

“It was a good decision to take him [to Yamaha] because he already asked for something on the electronic side, something similar to what I was using [at Suzuki], and it was working well.

“So I think we have a lot of things to try and to test.”

The Sepang Shakedown takes place from February 1-3.

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