Rins ‘didn’t know if I was home or in Valencia’ after FP4 fall

Alex Rins shakes off a “washing machine” crash during final practice to bolt to the front row in qualifying for Suzuki
Rins ‘didn’t know if I was home or in Valencia’ after FP4 fall

Alex Rins has explained how he shook off the “washing machine” crash during the final practice session to bolt to the front row in qualifying for Suzuki at the Valencia MotoGP.

The Spanish rider secured second place on the grid for the 2018 finale looking to maintain his impressive momentum across the second half of the season going into winter testing.

Saturday marked an eventful day for Rins, who produced the best MotoGP qualifying result of his career, as it followed two falls in practice which both occurred at Turn 8 of Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

While the Spaniard played down the FP3 off as ‘normal’ pushing in wet conditions, he conceded he felt the impact being thrown through the gravel trap in his FP4 fall. Rins was shown looking dazed after the crash and immediately took his helmet off trackside before returning to his Suzuki crew.

Despite the impact Rins was okay to contest qualifying to produce his unexpected front row feat.

“The FP3 off was normal because everybody was going at full gas to try to go directly to Q2 and more riders crashed too, I am not unique on that,” Rins explained. “But the FP4 crash was harder because with slick tyres I ran off a little bit and hit a wet patch and I lost the front tyre immediately.



“I simply lost the front but when I entered the gravel it was like being in a washing machine. I didn’t know if I was at home or here in Valencia.

“I tried to forget it quickly and tried to concentrate for a good Q2. The first three laps I went to the box and saw I was second on the TV which I didn’t expect at all.

“This gave me extra motivation to push a little bit more and then finally to get second is fantastic for us and for the team. I think starting on the first row for tomorrow is ideal because this track is very small and overtaking is difficult.”

Rins is confident of having the pace to challenge for the podium in both wet and dry conditions in Valencia with the opportunity of creating history.

If Rins, or team-mate Andrea Iannone, can secure a podium this weekend it would hand Suzuki four consecutive rostrum appearances for the first time since Kevin Schwantz achieved the feat in 1994.

“If it is dry or wet for us it doesn’t matter,” he said. “I think we have enough rhythm to be with the front group trying to fight and for sure I will try to do my best.

“Four podiums this year and I will try to finish at the last race with the maximum that I can so we will see what happens.”