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Alex Rins at the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland

A 10 mins with Rins…a chat with a potential Moto2 World Champ

Jul 212016

Alex Rins has a lot on his mind. Our talk takes place in a period when his name is being associated with numerous MotoGP teams (and would shortly be confirmed with the factory Suzuki crew for 2017) and he is even being hoisted by some in the Grand Prix paddock as an example of a rider wishing to vault direct from Moto2 into a factory-supported saddle; by-passing some of the independent and satellite squads that traditionally have been the breeding ground for rookies and young talent. It reflects his ambition and is a ballsy desire.

The 20 year old from the heart of Barcelona is caught between thinking of ‘tomorrow’ while having to direct all of his energy and focus on ‘today’. Rins is part of a tight three rider chase for the Moto2 title together with defending number one Johann Zarco and Britain’s Sam Lowes. The trio have all won Grands Prix this season, have all led the standings and remain almost a GP within each other in terms of points as Zarco currently tops the table.

Rins, another exceptional Catalan motorcycle athlete and from stock in the Spanish region that includes the likes of Marquez’, Espargaros’, Pedrosa, Coma, Bou, Viñales, has long been on the MotoGP radar. A winner in both Moto3 and Moto2 (this is his second term in his current category) he is perhaps best remembered for being one of three athletes (together with Viñales and the late Luis Salom) to head into the last race, last corner dispute for the 2013 Moto3 championship at Valencia from which he emerged from that sensational drag-race to the line to finish second in the standings.

A quick learner and with copious reserves of natural ability on two wheels – as well as a possessor of a vast smile – Rins gives off an air of confidence in our conversation and almost prefaces every answer with a brief laugh. He has faced constant inquisition over his career choices for the foreseeable future and seems quite pleased to talk about other aspects of his life…

"Yeah but I try to keep normal and keep being who I am"

Alex, with increasing fame and recognition – especially in your racing-mad home country – have you noticed that life is becoming a little bit more of a ‘bubble’?

Ha! I continue with my normal life and I don't think things around me have changed that much. OK, I think the racing side has changed a bit compared to 2015 and that’s mainly because I didn't have that pressure to win the championship last season. Life has become busier! From when I was young up to about two years ago I didn't have the commitments that I do now. It has climbed a lot in the last year and then again now I am at the top of the championship…but, it’s all OK. It means I am doing a good job!

You know the bike and training well but maybe this extra ‘PR’ part of the job you had to learn about…

Yeah but I try to keep normal and keep being who I am. I want to be positive with people and not be a person who is distant. I know if the roles were reversed then I would wish for that same treatment.

"When I have breaks in the calendar then I like to keep on the bike and mix things up, whether it is motocross or supermoto"

I see on your social media channels you are always out on a motorcycle whether Trial with [multi world champion] Toni Bou or motocrossing. Is life all about the bike?

Ha! I think so…last winter I was in Andorra and I trained with Toni and made some Trial. He taught me secrets to be better at it and I find Trial helps a lot to keep the mind focussed. When I have breaks in the calendar then I like to keep on the bike and mix things up, whether it is motocross or supermoto. I have to say that I prefer Trial and dirt track; dirt track because you are on a flat oval and if you make a mistake then it is normally isn’t too bad. In Trial you need the balance and clear mind to be balancing on a rock and not putting your foot down!

A mistake in motocross can carry a price…

Ha! For sure. I am not fast at motocross. I do it because I like it and I know full well if I come up short on a jump I will hurt myself. It is more exciting but I have to be aware that I am riding road bikes and not motocross for a living. I have an idea of what I am doing but not 100% control for jumps and pushing faster.

Riding many bikes must help with the skill range…

Maybe, maybe. I do all these different sports because you get more strength and also because I like the change and just enjoy it. When I train I don't worry about lap-times. If I’m doing motocross then I’ll aim for a thirty-minute moto and that will be my session.

In this world people like to paint riders as particular characters. Maybe Marquez is the happy guy, Lorenzo the serious one…what will people think about you?

I don't know…I try to be correct and happy with people. The truth is that I’m not sure what people think of me exactly but I hope it is something nice!

Maybe it is something to think about more, especially in MotoGP…

Perhaps…There are still many races to think about and in Moto2 especially it is hard to think about anything else.

"For sure I would try motocross or maybe cycling"

That 2013 season where Moto3 went down to the final race and last corner can that be good experience or even ‘training’ for the closeness of Moto2?

Yeah, that race still makes my heart beat quicker. That year was incredible. I lost the championship in one corner. It was an amazing situation but I still celebrated second position like it was the first because I gave my maximum that season and did everything I could to take that championship. It was a strange situation but the team were happy because they knew I did all I could. To win a championship is so difficult and it is a collective effort. It is not just down to me…if it was then I would have taken a lot of titles by now. You have to take many things into account and other riders also.

What is the hardest part of being a Pro racer?

For a young rider like me I think the biggest compromise is not being able to have the lifestyle that other people my age have: the parties, late nights, fun, not bothering with the gym. To do this job then you have to make a sacrifice. For sure sometimes I have to say ‘see you later guys’ to my friends when they go out.

What other sport would you do if MotoGP no longer became an option?

For sure I would try motocross or maybe cycling. Downhill is pretty dangerous and I’m slow but I love mountain bike and to be out in the nature is good training as well as a total pleasure.

"I would love to try a rally car. I’m a big fan of cars."

What was the last thing that made you go ‘wow’?

Maybe the win in Le Mans. I didn't expect that at all; to be leading all the laps. I expected it to be much more difficult so it was pretty amazing. Then outside of racing..,hmm, I’m sure there are many things but nothing comes to mind right now!

What else would you love to do in life?

I would love to try a rally car. I’m a big fan of cars. I cannot imagine how a rally car would feel but I reckon it would be fantastic and also very difficult. I think those drivers must have a totally clear mind to make corners at full gas. Honestly, I don't have too many distractions in my life. When I am home I am thinking about bikes and I’m excited to be in the world championship and when a race finishes I am already excited about the next one.

If I said you couldn't touch a bike for a day then what would you do…?

I really don't know! I guess stupid things with my friends. I’m not really into video games and I cannot sit still on the sofa. It is impossible. When I get home from the gym or training I might be tired but I’m a non-stop guy.