After dislocating and fracturing his right shoulder at round one, Alex Rins returned to action at Jerez the following weekend and braved the pain for the reminder of the 2020 MotoGP season.
The Suzuki star’s reward was the team’s first victory of the year, at Aragon – one of four podiums in the final seven rounds that took Rins to third in the world championship, 32 points from victorious team-mate Joan Mir.
After November’s Portimao finale, Rins planned to have his shoulder examined in case winter surgery was required.
No operation was forthcoming and an update from Rins confirmed that he is ‘impressed’ with the strength of his shoulder and feels ‘like perfect’ with one month to go until the delayed start of pre-season testing.
“I’m really impressed because the shoulder is doing very well,” said the Spaniard. “In the gym I don’t have any problems now.
“Before this problem on the right shoulder, always in the gym I had problems with the left one [compensating for the injury]. Now I’m feeling like perfect.”
“For sure now I’m in a better situation with my shoulder more stable. I’m ready now,” Rins added. “My target is to fight for the [riders’] world championship, because last year we were close and our bike [with Mir] and team won world championships.”
As well as his shoulder injury, like all riders Rins had to deal with the constant threat of a positive Covid test preventing him from racing in 2020.
It looks like the strict protocol of pre-event PCR tests, closed paddocks, social distancing ‘bubbles’ and absence of fans will continue at the start of this season.
“Already last year our risk level was very low and, for sure, I will take the least risk possible now because it looks like the [Covid] situation is getting worse,” he said.
“In the end, if the situation doesn’t change the [Covid protocols] will be like last year [again]. It’s a shame not to have the public at the track and the paddock empty. But in the end, it’s the best we can do in this situation.”