Rins joined Honda and LCR in 2023 after Suzuki chose to leave MotoGP at the end of the 2022 season. He finished his debut weekend with his new employer by finishing 13th in the Sprint Race and 10th in the regular race.
The winner of five races said his biggest problem in Portugal was not being able to compete with the other bikes on the straights because of the Honda’s rear grip problems. This reminds him of the struggle on the underpowered Suzuki motorbike for the 2021 season.
“The most difficult thing for me was overtaking,” said Rins as he evaluated his first weekend with Honda.
“I was a bit frustrated, because I was only receiving passes. I couldn’t overtake anyone, except one or two, other than at the start of the race where I managed to recover positions.
“But it was a bit of a disaster. When Fabio (Quartararo) overtook me, I was able to ride with him at low and medium speed in 1:39.
“But I struggled a lot. Also, in the last part of the race, the front pressed a little bit. I did my best, I put the bike to the limit.
“It reminds me of two years ago with Suzuki. We lost a lot of time on the straight compared to the others and then we recovered everything on the corners.”
Joan Mir showed his speed at the weekend in Portugal when he made his debut for Repsol Honda.
But the collision with Quartararo at the Sprint Race, which made Mir have to take a long lap penalty for the grand prix in the end, made the 2020 world champion feel satisfied.
Joan Mir had problems with the motorbike when he made his debut with Honda
Oleh photo: Miquel Liso
“To be honest, what happened with the crash changed the weekend a lot,” said Mir, who finished 11th.
“The result should be very different without stopping the Sprint Race, because it was the first time I could do more than 10 laps in a row on this bike, and we had problems with the tire warm-up.
“We don’t know about this. Naturally, this is something you can easily solve, but if you don’t know about it, what can you do?
“So the race, the first laps were very good, but as soon as I entered the long laps I immediately felt something was wrong with the bike and I couldn’t give my 100 per cent.
“The bike was turning a lot, I couldn’t enter the corner with a lot of braking because the rear was spinning too. The tires weren’t working properly and this was the problem.”