Alex Rins: MotoGP rules freeze should benefit Suzuki
Suzuki’s Alex Rins believes the stability in the technical regulations for the 2021 MotoGP season should benefit the Hamamatsu manufacturer.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MotoGP has implemented a freeze on engine development for 2021, with all but KTM (as it lost concessions in 2020) and Aprilia (because it still has concessions) racing this season with last year’s motors.
Normal update regulations outside of aerodynamic fairings and engines will still apply, but the stability in the rules will likely mean bike development won’t be dramatic in 2021.
Suzuki often had the most consistent bike during races weekends in 2021, with Rins scoring four podiums in the last seven races – including a win at Aragon – while teammate Joan Mir managed the most top-three finishes of anyone (seven) on his way to the title.
Rins believes the stability in the rules and the consistency of the current GSX-RR package could stand to benefit Suzuki – but insists the field will be even closer this season.
“Maybe it’s an advantage to us because we have a very good base, and every time we start on Friday we make a good decision with the set-up,” Rins said when asked by Motorsport.com if the rules freeze would benefit Suzuki.
“We just have to change a few things [on the bike], but not too much. So, maybe it can benefit us, but for this [season] the rivalries will be so high because more or less the bikes will be the same for everybody as last year. And more or less the set-up is there.
“For me, every year is even harder. In 2019 I was thinking ‘ok, the level that year was so high, let’s see for 2020’. And the level for 2020 increased. Let’s see how the level increases in 2021.”
Racing for a reigning championship-winning team for the first time in his grand prix career in 2021, Rins feels if there is any pressure on him as a result of this, then it is “good pressure”.
He also believes facing up against his world champion teammate Mir will be a “good challenge”.
“I know that we have a good bike, I know we have a bike that last year was the world championship bike,” said Rins. “So, let’s put together all my talent, all my experience and let’s do a good year.
“[Facing Mir], it’s a good challenge because I have by my side the current world champion. He will try to repeat this, to maintain the level, so let’s see if I can arrive there or if I can fight with him to be world champion.”
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