MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
How I ride: Álex Rins
Three days before he rode to his first MotoGP victory at COTA we sat down with Álex Rins to find out how he extracts the maximum from Suzuki’s GSX-RR
Would you say you are a very smooth rider?
Does this come from you working out that this is now the best way to ride a MotoGP bike or does it come naturally?
I think it comes naturally – I don’t work in a special way to be smooth on the bike. I remember one funny story when I was riding in Moto3 in 2013 – my mechanics were watching me in qualifying and they thought I was coming back to the box, but on that lap I got pole position! So, yes, it comes naturally.
People used to say the same to Eddie Lawson: man, you look so slow! But in fact he was breaking lap records. In a way I suppose you’re lucky that you are in MotoGP at a time when it’s very important to be smooth, because of the tyres and the electronics.
Yes, it’s very important to be smooth now, because you need to take care of the tyres – it’s all about the tyres. If you are smooth with the throttle your rear tyre life will increase and if you ride smoothly you will increase the durability of the front tyre.
Do you work with your data guys to perfect this technique?
Yes, since I first arrived in MotoGP in 2017. With the data you can check exactly how much gas you are using at any point of the track and what lean angle you are using, so you can use this data to help you ride better.
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.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.