It has been announced that Alex Rins will join Monster Energy Yamaha Racing for the 2024 MotoGP World Championship season.
Since the beginning of the summer break, the Spaniard has been heavily rumored to join the factory Yamaha team but as the British MotoGP approaches Silverstone, it has been officially confirmed that he will be leaving LCR Honda.
In anticipation of this weekend’s British Grand Prix, Yamaha announced on Wednesday that they will be splitting with Morbidelli at the conclusion of the 2023 season.
Morbidelli has been a Yamaha-sponsored rider since 2019 and finished second in the championship the following year. However, after moving up to the factory team in the middle of 2021, he has battled with inconsistency.
Rins move has been made possible thanks to Wednesday’s announcement. Rins has expressed his discontent with Honda in a number of times this year over a lack of support for his transition from Suzuki at the end of 2022.
This is true even if Rins won the Americas GP which is Honda’s only race victory in a dismal 2023 campaign for the Japanese manufacturer. However, Honda hasn’t provided Rins with any additional support since that point in time, and as a result, the factory team’s Kalex chassis hasn’t been tested by Rins since the French GP.
“We are delighted that Alex is joining the Yamaha line-up, and we warmly welcome him to the Yamaha MotoGP group,” said Yamaha Racing managing director Lin Jarvis.
“We expect Alex to be a great asset. He has vast experience as a MotoGP rider and is known to be a natural talent and a multi-time MotoGP class race winner.
“He already has experience with two other MotoGP manufacturers and has ridden bikes with similar characteristics to the YZR-M1, which should help him adapt quickly to our bike. His win in COTA earlier this year underlines his speed, hunger, and determination to succeed.
“Alex has been away from the MotoGP paddock for a while due to the injury he sustained at Mugello, but we are confident that he should be fully recovered and up to speed for the 2024 season.
“We are really looking forward to working with him and believe that he will collaborate well with Fabio and enhance the total performance of the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team.”
Rins expected to stay with Honda and even hoped to advance to the factory squad at some point in the years that followed.
Rins was under a two-year contract with Honda, but it is believed that his agreement included a provision allowing him to leave if a factory team made him an offer.
According to Motorsport.com, Rins signed a one-year contract with Yamaha before the five-week summer break but the Japanese manufacturer urged him to keep it a secret until it notified Morbidelli about its plans.
Since the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, Rins has been unable to race since suffering a fractured leg as Iker Lecuona will be filling up Rins’ place at LCR this weekend at Silverstone.
Honda is rumored to be evaluating Lecuona who is the HRC World Superbike rider about a prospective return to MotoGP, where he was riding in 2020 and 2021 with Tech3 KTM and finished sixth best.