Features 18 Oct 2022

Debrief: 2022 MotoGP Rd18 Phillip Island

Race winner Rins recalls this year's Animoca Brands Australian GP.

From 10th on the grid, Alex Rins charged through to take his fourth premier class victory at the 2022 Animoca Brands Australian MotoGP, showing strength when it counted to deliver a special result for Team Suzuki Ecstar. Featuring in this Debrief, the Spaniard was available to the media after the race at Phillip Island.


Image: Supplied.

Alex, you told us moments ago that the race was more Moto3 than MotoGP. After a difficult period with the Suzuki team withdrawing from MotoGP next year, what a race for you, didn’t look like you made a mistake. 10th to first, and now have a full set here – a Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP winner at this great circuit. 

Yeah thank you, I am super happy to finish on the first position, first of all because it is the last time with the Suzuki here at the Island, so I’m so glad I get the first position for this. Then, for all of the people that were supporting me during all of the season, during the bad moments, the team, the staff in Hamamatsu, they really deserve this. It was a good race, I was feeling quite good since the beginning and I was able to manage the rear tyre. When I was behind Pecco [Francesco Bagnaia] or in the beginning of the race behind [Jorge Martin], I was realising that they were running maybe a little bit too slow, so I tried to stay at the front and open a small gap while taking care of the rear tyre. But in the end, they overtook me on the straight so I decided to stay behind and try to arrive at the end of the race with a little bit more. I knew if I started the last lap in second position, I would have some chances to overtake Pecco between corner one and corner two. Then we did like this and we finish in the first position so I am super happy.

You were so good in turn two. What was it about that particular corner that suited the bike and your riding style? You made so many crucial overtakes there.

Well sincerely, before the start you prepare the race and I was marking on the map with my crew chief, my engineers the critical points were for the rear tyre. Here on the right side they say it doesn’t matter, you need to control, so I was making the bike slide there [exit of turn one] and thanks to this I was reaching the overtake [on the entry into turn two].

Image: Supplied.

Just a word on Suzuki, it has been a difficult year for the team and for you personally. You were close to renewing your contract when the news broke after Jerez that they were withdrawing from the championship next year. This victory I guess has been for all of the team and everybody connected to Suzuki, because it was almost the perfect way to finish 2022 and this current adventure with the team. 

Yes, as you say it was not easy for us as a team to know that next year that the team you are in is no longer continuing in the championship. So we had the not so good races, I was involved in some crashes with another rider in Montmelo [Catalunya] and broke my hand, so the key was don’t give up. We never put down the towel, so we deserve this victory, this one is for all of the team, for the ones that can get some contracts for next year and for the ones that didn’t. Let’s see what happens from here to the end of the championship, but this one is for them.

It’s always a special celebration here with the fans on the circuit. You don’t have boots left, how did the shoey taste after those 27-laps? 

Well Pecco started, he said ‘c’mon let’s put out the boots and do like Jack [Miller] makes when he finishes on the podium’. So sincerely, the taste was not so good, but was nice to do it.

You’ve obviously enjoyed some thrilling victories before, in Austin and Silverstone, I guess Aragon as well. How does this compare, and do you think this is your best-ever performance? 

You know when you take the victory, it is always nice. The first one was special because I had a really nice fight with Valentino [Rossi], in Austin, then in Silverstone with Marc [Marquez] we had some good overtakes and in the last corner I was behind him and I get more traction and overtook him. This one was nice also, I mean we fight, we respect each other and all of the overtakes were on the limit but inside the good way. It’s so difficult to choose one victory, but this one is one of the best ones.