Yamaha's decision to part ways with Franco Morbidelli at the conclusion of the 2023 MotoGP season was followed swiftly by the word that the Iwata company had signed Alex Rins, a rider for LCR Honda. The LCR Honda rider has made significant progress in his rehabilitation from the twin tibia and fibula fractures he sustained in the Tissot Sprint at the 2023 Italian GP, but he is far from being ready to return to MotoGP racing. After Suzuki's surprising exit from MotoGP this season, Rins switched to LCR Honda and ended HRC's winless record at the COTA race. The 27-year-old Rins was becoming irritated with the slow arrival of new components to the satellite LCR garage as he heals from a broken leg incurred at Mugello. The Honda RC213V is notoriously problematic in the 2023 season, resulting in several injuries to Honda riders. The bike gives little warning before the rider tucks the front or loses the rear and high-sides himself.
MotoGP: Alex Rins’ Five Health Update
In an interview, Alex Rin said, "I am getting better every day, what hurts me the least is the injury itself, the double fracture of the tibia and fibula does not bother me much. Today is 6 weeks after the operation and it is the first day that they let me rest my foot. What hurts the most, what doesn't let me sleep… is the sole of my foot. I guess it's from the injury and a lot of contact… I have hypersensitivity from the tips of my toes to where the heel begins and intense cramps in the soles, but it's getting better".
He added, "I would go back now if I could, I'm missing an important event which is Silverstone, one of the circuits that I like and enjoys the most. I don't know when I will be able to return, it is very difficult. Today I have started bearing weight and as the days go by we will see how it progresses. It's a complicated injury, there were many hours in the operating room because it was as if the bone had exploded, so the recovery is slow. I'll be back when they let me."
MotoGP: Alex Rins on Switching from LCR Honda to Yamaha
After signing a two-year contract with Honda to ride for LCR, Rins suffered a horrific leg injury at Mugello in June and is now recovering at Silverstone. But in an interview with a Spanish broadcaster, he added that if Honda had made him a higher priority, he would have stayed with the company.
"After so many bad days, the announcement to sign for Yamaha has been incredible. I am very happy. After Suzuki left, we were lost, we knocked on all the doors and one of the doors we knocked on was Yamaha and they told us that that moment couldn't be, they already had Morbidelli and Quartararo. So in the end we went to Honda, and this year seeing how everything has gone, in the position we were in... we asked again to see if we'd have any luck, and we did."
"What has weighed the most is what has been seen race by race. In the end, Honda, HRC have preferred to give the factory team the new parts to test even though I am also a competitive rider... well, I would have liked them to have given me a little bit more support."
"The Honda is not a bad bike, I think that the other brands, especially European ones, have taken two steps forward and Honda only a small one. To get the victory in Austin we rode super-fast. We still need to improve, yes, but it's not so far away".
Yamaha, despite having the 2021 world champion Quartararo on its squad, has only managed one podium finish and one sprint victory in a grand prix in 2023. Both Japanese manufacturers, Yamaha and Honda, have gotten off to a rough start in the 2023 MotoGP season. Yamaha has fallen to last place in the constructors' standings, behind leader Ducati by 203 points and trailing second-place Honda by just seven points. Ducati has won every race in 2023 save for two sprints and one Grand Prix.