This Wednesday, ahead of the imminent British Grand Prix, Yamaha publicized its decision to part ways with Morbidelli after the close of the 2023 season.
Morbidelli, a Yamaha-affiliated rider since 2019, secured second place in the championship race the following year. However, his performance has been shaky ever since he ascended to the factory squad halfway through 2021.
For a while now, speculations have been swirling that Rins, presently under contract with Honda at LCR, might fill the upcoming vacancy at Yamaha left by Morbidelli next season.
This week’s declaration confirms these rumors. Over the course of the year, Rins has openly voiced his dissatisfaction with Honda’s lack of support following his switch from Suzuki at the end of 2022.
Despite this, Rins emerged as Honda’s sole race victor in a grim 2023 season for the Japanese brand, clinching a win at the Americas GP. However, since this triumph, Rins has seen no increase in support from Honda, including the opportunity to test the Kalex chassis that the factory team debuted at the French GP.
Photo: Alex Rins, Team LCR Honda
Credit: Gold and Goose / F1 Flow Images
Rins had planned to stick with Honda, even aspiring to join their factory team in the upcoming years. Though bound to Honda with a two-year contract, it is believed Rins had a clause allowing him to cut ties if he received an offer from a factory team.
Sources at F1 Flow.com indicate that Rins was presented with a one-year contract from Yamaha before the five-week summer hiatus. He signed the contract then, but was requested by the Japanese brand to keep it confidential until they disclosed their plans to Morbidelli.
Rins has been on the sidelines due to a leg injury from the Italian GP at Mugello. He will be absent from the forthcoming Silverstone round, with Iker Lecuona stepping in at LCR.
Lecuona, a rider for HRC’s World Superbike, is rumored to be under Honda’s review for a potential comeback to MotoGP. He previously competed in 2020 and 2021 with Tech3 KTM, achieving a top finish of sixth place.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Alex Rins Yamaha Transfer
Who is replacing Morbidelli in the Yamaha MotoGP team?
Alex Rins will be replacing Franco Morbidelli in the Yamaha MotoGP team starting from the 2024 season.
Why is Yamaha parting ways with Franco Morbidelli?
While specific reasons haven’t been disclosed, it’s noted that Morbidelli’s performance has suffered since he moved to the factory squad halfway through 2021.
Who is Alex Rins currently contracted with?
Alex Rins is currently contracted with Honda at LCR, but he is set to move to Yamaha after the 2023 season.
Why has Alex Rins been sidelined?
Alex Rins has been sidelined due to a broken leg he suffered at the Italian GP at Mugello. He will continue to be absent for the upcoming Silverstone round.
Who will replace Rins in the upcoming Silverstone round?
Iker Lecuona will replace Alex Rins at LCR in the upcoming Silverstone round.
Who is Iker Lecuona?
Iker Lecuona is HRC’s World Superbike rider and he is currently being evaluated by Honda for a potential return to MotoGP.