He finished third in the overall standings but we have ranked Alex Rins ‘only’ eighth in our Top 10 MotoGP Riders of the Year for 2020…
We won’t lie, placing Alex Rins eighth in Top 10 MotoGP Riders of 2020 countdown is potentially controversial.
However, we ran the numbers here and it is by this reckoning the Spaniard thus finds himself perhaps further down the order than you may have expected. Allow us to explain…
All being told this was a good season for Rins on paper, the Team Suzuki Ecstar rider ending up a fine third overall after a strong end to the season recovered a wealth of ground following an injury-hampered start to the year.
And yet, for Rins it could have been so very different had matters well within his control not spiralled out of his grasp.
Starting with the aforementioned accident during qualifying for the Jerez opener, the impact not only dislocated his shoulder – an ailment he’d feel the effects from throughout the season – but it also forced a change in the rules because he fell in close proximity to the already stricken Jack Miller having seemingly not heeded yellow flags convincingly enough.
Then there were the costly mistakes at very crucial moments – in Austria, when he crashed out almost the moment he moved into the lead, while in Le Mans he was on course for at least a podium when he fell within the final laps.
To his credit, Rins showed evidence of why he was considered an outside title favourite, even when we originally anticipated a full season of 20 races and Marc Marquez.
Now well versed in the Suzuki GSX-RR’s traits of modest qualifying pace giving rise to superior race speed, Rins squeezed in three top six results around his incidents before scoring a fine win in Aragon, amid a run of four podiums in five races.
Placing him third in the overall standings – a new career best – his efforts were nonetheless undermined by seeing team-mate and ‘No.2 Suzuki rider’ Joan Mir romp to the title with relative ease simply because he didn’t make mistakes.
In summary, if there was one moment that summed up Rins’ season more than any other it was his failure to wrestle third position from Valentino Rossi after multiple laps tailing him at Misano, only to be left looking flaccid when a charging Mir passed both sweetly within three corners on the final lap.
Like we say, this wasn’t a bad season for Rins but it could have been so much better…