Alex Rins was understandably delighted with a career best second place on Sunday’s MotoGP race in Assen.
The Ecstar Suzuki rider was nowhere on Friday’s free practice and after adjustments Friday night found he qualifying in the middle of the second row of the grid.
Getting away in the leading group, Rins was part of a eighth strong group battling for the lead before mugging Vinales in the final sector of the race to secure a second place finish, the best in his career.
“It was incredible for me and I think the hardest race of my life in MotoGP,” said the 21-year-old.
“I did my best and we knew since yesterday it will be a very difficult race with a lot of riders on the front but we managed really well.
“In the middle of the race I was trying to push and ten laps to the end, I was fourth or fifth and the first group was gone a little bit. I was trying to keep my rhythm, trying to catch them because I know I was able to finish on the podium. I overtook a lot and I enjoyed this race.
“It was incredible because two or three laps before I overtook Marc I saw him very strong on that corner, but I was feeling great. I was feeling good, and then I thought why not? I overtook him but on the next lap he overtook me so I said, wow, it will be a fantastic race, but also with Maverick also and with every rider, with Dovizioso. I enjoyed it a lot.”
After a strong start to the season, Rins had fallen away in recent races. A new engine bought to Assen for the GSX-RR, coupled with a conscious effort to remain focused was the reason for his race speed, according to the Spaniard.
“Since Qatar we are going very fast, in all the tracks I was not riding in the first positions but riding with the front group in a lot of tracks, but I did small mistakes and I was crashing,” he explained.
“Now I’ve tried to keep more calm and especially on this track, Suzuki bring a new engine with a little bit more speed on the top and that helped us a little bit on the straight.
“That’s all, I think that all the races coming will be great for us and I will try to give my best in every race. We know that on Friday we suffer a little bit so I will try to give the maximum all I can.”