Austin MotoGP race winner Alex Rins played a waiting game in the final laps of yesterday’s race, hoping that nine-time champion Valentino Rossi would make a small mistake - and lo it came to pass.
Rins took his first premier-class win at the track he managed his debut Grand Prix victory in the Moto3 class six years ago and put himself into firm contention for the title.
“It’s unbelievable. I got my very first win here in Moto3 in 2013. The feeling is incredible,” said Rins, speaking at the track.
“I tried to stay calm on the last lap. I knew that Valentino has a lot of experience in this situation! I’m super happy. Suzuki deserves this victory. Together we deserve it, now we need to continue in this way.”
Rins came from seventh on the grid after his first decent qualifying of the season but it had not been an easy weekend until that point.
“During the weekend sincerely my feeling was not the best one. We suffered a little bit for braking with the bike on a small angle.
“But anyway, when we start the race I try to forget everything. I try to ride. I recovered a lot of positions in the first lap, so this is important.
When I was behind Valentino I was at 1.5 seconds, more or less. I was saying, ‘Come on, Alex. You need to arrive. You need to do a bit of a spectacle…’
“Finally was like this. I arrived to Valentino. I was studying him. In the end when he did a small mistake I overtook him. I did the last four laps in first position to the end.
“But I did a small mistake on brakes on T11. I go a little bit away. I was thinking, ‘Now Valentino will overtake you on the straight and ciao’. But he also went a little bit wide.”