Rins withdraws from Japanese MotoGP after Friday practice

Alex Rins made his comeback from injury but that has now been cut short. Image: MotoGP.com

Alex Rins made his comeback from injury but that has now been cut short. Image: MotoGP.com

Alex Rins has withdrawn from the Japanese Grand Prix after making his MotoGP return from injury in Friday practice at Motegi.

The LCR Honda rider fractured his tibia and fibula in a crash at Mugello in Italy in May and underwent surgery.

Rins, who clinched victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas in April, completed 16 laps in Free Practice 1 but only managed six in the afternoon Practice session.

His LCR Honda team issued a statement which read: “Alex Rins has been declared unfit due to the pain he’s felt today on the right leg while testing on track. We are proud of his efforts, thanks for trying Alex.”

Rins will attempt another comeback in two weeks’ time at Round 15 of the championship at Mandalika in Indonesia from October 13-15.

In afternoon practice, he was 3.7s down on Brad Binder’s new lap record after only completing a handful of laps on the Honda.

HRC test rider Stefan Bradl will again fill in for Rins at Motegi on Saturday and Sunday.

Rins, who will join the Monster Energy Yamaha team alongside Fabio Quartararo in 2024, said his leg injury was the ‘worst of his career’ as he spoke during a press conference on Thursday at Motegi after making a last-minute decision to travel to Japan.

“After a medical check in Madrid we tried to organise everything to arrive as soon as possible,” Rins said.

“I’m happy with the progress. The x-ray compared to one month ago, the difference is huge.

“I’m still not 100 percent recovered but it’s going step by step. The step now is to try the MotoGP bike.

“It’s been one month without trying any bike. Let’s see what the reception is with the bike,” he added.

“I worked so hard in these months, going to the gym and the physio. [Friday] is a big day for us.

“It’s a long flight to arrive here but if it’s painful then it won’t make sense to continue riding.”

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