Rins: Aerodynamics make the biggest difference, not the engine

Author of the article: , published on December 12, 2023.

According to Alex Rins, aerodynamics now have a greater influence on the behavior of MotoGP bikes than the difference between a V4 or Inline4 engine design.

The Spanish star has ridden both engine types in recent seasons, winning five races with the inline-drive Suzuki from 2017 to 2022, before taking a shock win at COTA this year with the Honda V4 LCR. Still recovering from a broken leg at Mugello, the 27-year-old now returns to Inline4 and joins the Monster Yamaha team.

But while key design elements of the GSX-RR and YZR-M1 may look similar on paper, Rins described the Yamaha as “a very different bike compared to the Suzuki. I can go into a corner with more front brake [for example] and that's good because you can gain a bit of lap time.”

Rins then explained: "I don't think the difference between the V4 engine and the Inline4 engine is the biggest difference on the bike right now.

Currently, the biggest difference is the aerodynamic side. In my experience with other motorcycles, the more aerodynamic engine makes it easier to turn.”

“For example, with the Yamaha [at the Valencia test] I was riding with a standard fairing and with the wind I had a lot of wheelspin. And when we tried a different new armor, I felt less sliding and better handling.”

Rins was 19th fastest on his Yamaha debut at the Valencia test, but just half a second behind new team-mate Fabio Quartararo.

"It was great. I felt pretty comfortable with the bike," said Rins.

"We divided the day into two parts. In the morning I was given the settings of the Fabio from the race and it only took a few laps to understand the bike.

We then tested some new armors in the afternoon and as far as I can tell one of the two armors works better than the standard armor. So overall I was very pleased.”

Rins gave the Suzuki GSX-RR a dream farewell by winning its last race in Valencia 2022. Meanwhile, the Yamaha M1's losing streak is longer, with its last victory a few months earlier, in Germany that year.

Rins will return to the M1 for the Sepang Shakedown at the start of February, which Yamaha and Honda riders are now eligible for due to the revised concession table.

Suzuki's exit from MotoGP left Yamaha as the only MotoGP manufacturer not to use a V4 engine.

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