Rins delivers first LCR Honda win since 2018 as Bagnaia crashes out again

By Sports Desk April 16, 2023

After an action-packed race at MotoGP's Grand Prix of the Americas it was Alex Rins emerging with a drought-breaking victory for LCR Honda.

Rins, who qualified second and finished second in Saturday's sprint race around the Circuit of the Americas, was the beneficiary after pole-winner Francesco Bagnaia crashed out for the second race in a row, this time while leading with 13 laps remaining.

Bagnaia, who could have taken over as the championship leader if he went all the way, was one of nine riders to not complete the race. 

Alex Marquez, Aleix Espargaro and Jorge Martin all went down on the first lap, before Jack Miller went down with 14 laps to go while in a podium position, and he was followed with an early finish by Raul Fernandez (14 to go), Bagnaia (13), Joan Mir (12), Takaaki Nakagami (nine) and Stefan Bradl (two).

The carnage left Rins as the leader for the final 12 laps, and he held his nerve the rest of the way, coming home to deliver LCR Honda's first race victory since Argentina back in 2018. It is the Spaniard's fifth MotoGP win, and his first since switching teams after spending the past six seasons with Team Suzuki Ecstar.

It was also the first win for a Honda bike in 539 days in what has been a dominant stretch by the Ducatis, as no Honda rider finished better than Marc Marquez's 13th in the 2022 season standings.

With the result, Rins catapulted himself up to third in the standings after a 34-point week in Texas, while championship leader Marco Bezzecchi extended his gap at the top to 11 points with his safe sixth-place outcome.

Grid Classification

1. Alex Rins (Honda) 41:14.649

2. Luca Marini (Ducati) +3.498 seconds

3. Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) +4.936

4. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +8.318

5. Miguel Oliveira (Aprilia) +9.989

6. Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati) +12.049

7. Johann Zarco (Ducati) +12.242

8. Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha) +20.399

9. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Ducati) +27.981

10. Augusto Fernandez (KTM) +28.217

Championship Standings

1. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) 64

2. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) 53

3. Alex Rins (LCR Honda) 47

4. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) 45

5. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 44

Teams

1. Mooney VR46 102

2. Pramac Racing 73

3. Aprilia 63

4. Yamaha 63

5. Ducati 58

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    2. Lando Norris (McLaren)

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