Alex Rins reveals first Yamaha ‘concession’ test

Monster Yamaha will stay on at Portimao for a post-race test on Monday.

Alex Rins, Qatar MotoGP, 10 March
Alex Rins, Qatar MotoGP, 10 March

New Monster Yamaha MotoGP rider Alex Rins will take part in his first private test under the factory’s 2024 access to technical concessions at Portimao on Monday.

While new Repsol Honda signing Luca Marini was recently on track at Jerez, Yamaha is yet to take advantage of the opportunity to conduct such extra testing with their race riders.

That will change the day after Sunday's race.

“This Monday, after the GP weekend, we are going to test,” Rins said at Portimao on Thursday.

“Still I don't know the items we are going to try. But we are going to try on Monday and I think it could be interesting because [it’s straight] after the GP weekend.”

Team-mate Fabio Quartararo will also be on track.

The chance to not only take part in extra testing but also the other concession perks of extra engine changes and exemption from the engine design freeze means Rins is ‘not panicking’ after a tough start to the season in Qatar.

Although team-mate Quartararo won the ‘Japanese Cup’ in eleventh - after a close battle with the Hondas of Johann Zarco and Joan Mir - the Frenchman slipped ten seconds further from the top (+17s) compared to last November.

Former Suzuki and Honda race winner Rins finished his first grand prix on the M1 in 16th, 24s from victory.

I'm not getting panicked because it is what it is and if you get panic, maybe you don't have your mind free to think and to ride as good as you know,” he said.

“It's true that there are pieces that we are going to try - I suppose [on Monday] - that maybe we can't use [straightaway] for the next GP in Austin because there should be some prototype pieces, no?

“But for sure [concessions] gives me confidence to improve. They give me the confidence from making more laps with the bike, to work better with the team.

“We are in a phase now of knowing how everything works. In Qatar, we struggled a lot with the front, we destroyed the tyre because of the setup of the bike," he added.

“This bike has some adjustments, let's say, for Fabio. Because Fabio makes this bike like for him. It's normal. Fabio and myself we have similar riding styles, but a little bit different. So I need to make the bike also to my style.”

For now, the Yamaha’s main area of weakness is rear grip, which is particularly evident in qualifying, with the M1’s starting just 16th (Quartararo) and 20th (Rins) in Qatar.

“If you qualify in a good position, 50-60% of the race is done. If you don't make a bad start, you just manage your position and you go," Rins said.

“Starting so far back, you need to ask more of the tyres, more of the fuel and then, at the end of the race, you need to manage everything more.

“In our case, we also had an issue with the engine in qualifying in Qatar. But the grip condition in qualifying was not the best one for us and the Yamaha struggled in qualifying. Let's see here.”

Free practice in Portimao starts on Friday morning.

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