Yamaha boss expects Alex Rins to ‘raise the level’

Yamaha have admitted they expect MotoGP race winner with Suzuki and Honda, Alex Rins, to form a formidable line-up alongside Fabio Quartararo.

Alex Rins, Sepang MotoGP test, 8 February
Alex Rins, Sepang MotoGP test, 8 February

After signing Alex Rins in place of Franco Morbidelli, Massimo Meregalli is hoping the new Monster Energy Yamaha line-up can take the team forward, following a tough 2023 MotoGP season.

With Fabio Quartararo on the other side of the garage, Yamaha will always have a chance to be competitive. 

But adding Rins was a ‘no-brainer’ type move that should see Yamaha begin to improve, especially since both riders have been happy with the 2024 M1 developments.

“I really believe that this year’s rider line-up is very good,” Meregalli told MotoGP.com at the recent Sepang test. “I actually have been impressed by Alex’s first two days (Shakedown test).

“He did one day in Valencia but he was not fit. The day in Valencia was not ideal. But when he started here and kept riding he has been a really nice surprise for us.

“The comments and way to work have been very calm. It has been good. I’m really hoping that they will work together.

“I know that they always want to beat each other, but in a really good way I hope they will push the other one and raise the level of themselves, but also the bike.”

Joining Yamaha means a return to in-line four machinery for Rins, who could become the first-ever rider to win with three different manufacturers.

The two other riders gunning for that achievement are Jack Miller and Maverick Vinales, but Meregalli feels as though Yamaha have struck gold with Rins.

“Last year he was the only one that was able to beat the Ducati with a different manufacturer.,” said the managing director.

“We didn’t have any doubt. Our decision was only on him and we started discussions with him the year before.

“For us, it is really important to have two riders at the same level. To have only a factory team means we have an additional amount of work to do. With two fast riders this will help a bit.”

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