The LCR Honda rider made a strong start to life with the Japanese manufacturer, winning its only race so far in 2023 at the Americas GP in April.
Since then, however, his season flew off the rails as back-to-back crashes in Spain and France gave way to a serious leg break in the Italian GP sprint.
This ruled Rins out for nine rounds, with the Spaniard having to abort a comeback in Japan and defer his racing return to last weekend’s Indonesian GP.
In the full-distance Sunday race, Rins was top Honda runner in ninth despite having “struggled a lot to finish”.
“My condition is done,” Rins said.
“I struggled a lot to finish the race, because after 13, 14 laps I started to feel pain – heavy pain – but at least I was able to hold the pace, the 1m32s low.
“So, I’m quite happy for this. We fight really hard all these months without racing, with the physiotherapist, in the gym.
Alex Rins, Team LCR Honda
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
“So, for me, today we achieved more than a P9. For myself, for all the LCR team, this result is to understand where we are and in which places we can improve.”
Rins added: “For sure, this for me was like a podium. I mean, as I said we fought so hard at home.
“We struggled a lot, many races in the hospital. To achieve this, it was a really, really great result.
“And the first Honda. We stayed on the bike with all these hot conditions, with the slippery track. I’m happy about this.”
Rins says his physical condition in the race was acceptable as he was focused on the job at hand, but admits he struggled to climb off his bike afterwards.
“I struggled with my physical condition after the chequered flag, because during the race I was fully focused on the leg,” he said.
“I was focused on the leg and trying to stay on the pace, on the line.
“But when I went to the box, and I was there in the pit box with the team members I couldn’t stand down from the bike. The pectoral, all the muscles, I have arm pump. Many things.”