How do you use the throttle exiting a corner?
Basically, with a MotoGP bike you can open the throttle 100 per cent exiting a corner and with all the electronics it won’t be problem. I don’t want to say that you’d never crash in this situation, but it is difficult to crash like this. However, if you go to full gas with a lot of lean angle then very quickly the tyre starts to slide and spin. And once the tyre starts to spin it’s very difficult to stop it spinning, which affects the lap time and also tyre life.
Which other riders do you watch the most? Your style is a bit like Jorge Lorenzo’s, so can you learn a lot from him?
In general I examine all the fast riders, mostly when we are racing. I remember one race really well: Phillip Island 2017. It was my first season in MotoGP and my first time racing with the front group. There were eight of us [Rins, plus Marc Márquez, Valentino Rossi, Maverick Viñales, Johann Zarco, Cal Crutchlow, Andrea Iannone and Jack Miller] and it was nice because I could see that I was able to go with them by using less throttle.
You use quite gentle bike settings – less aggressive geometry, less pitch and so on – to help the tyres.
Exactly. If you are an aggressive rider it’s difficult to use these settings on the bike. For example, someone like Pol Espargaró brakes very, very late, so he puts all the weight on the front of the bike, then he opens the gas quite fast, so the load goes to the back. This makes the bike less stable and uses the tyres more.
You’re one of the taller riders on the grid – how tall?
I’m 171 centimetres tall and I weigh 70 kilogrammes, so I’m just about at the limit!
You move your head a long way to the inside of the corner – is this to improve steering?
I never really think about it, but for sure using that weight can help the bike turn a bit better.
Your former Moto2 crew chief told me you use lower gearing than most riders to keep better tyre contact and get rid of that floaty feeling, are you the same in MotoGP?
I’m not sure, I think it’s just what feels right for me.