In the battle for second place in the overall standings, the Suzuki rider reached the final just four points behind Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli.
But Rins ended up in third place when Morbidelli took second place overall on the podium. Rins was one of four riders who opted for the asymmetrical hard rear tire, while the rest chose the harder symmetrical option and quickly found a grip on the left side of the rubber fading.
“I am very happy with the way the championship went after the ups and downs at the beginning of the year,” said Rins. “It was a shame not to have the opportunity to fight for the constructors’ title and second place [in the riders’ table], in the last race because he didn’t choose the rear tire well. In the beginning I was fine, but after a few laps I couldn’t drive in the left-hand corners.
“Because of the way the race went, I didn’t even think about finishing third in the World Championship. When I saw that I was losing position and that pole [Espargaro] was ahead, I thought I was going to be fourth or fifth.
“So after the race went, it was great news to finish third when I got to the pits.”
Rins, who won a Grand Prix as one of nine drivers in 2020, rates his season 8.5 out of 10 and says the bad times he experienced earlier in the year with his shoulder injury “made me a lot stronger to have”.
“I’m keeping the effort I made after the injury,” he said. “I learned to fight and the bad times we had in this part of the championship made me a lot stronger. What I would change are some of the falls we suffered at Le Mans and in Austria, that was the most painful.
“Personally, I would put an 8.5 for the season, we managed to improve the final result, which was the fourth last year. I don’t give myself a 10 because that would have been second place and we didn’t get that. “