It’s December 28, 2022, and besides being one of the handful of days in between the Christmas and New Year celebrations, it’s also a day for pranks in some countries. In Spain and a number of Latin American countries, it’s celebrated as Día de los Santos Inocentes, or Day of the Innocent Saints. Another name for it is Día de las Bromas, or Day of Jokes—and that’s why we’re talking about it today.
Leave it to MotoGP racer Álex Rins to come up with the bittersweet joke to end all jokes for the December 28 celebration of pranks in 2022. As you may recall, Rins officially raced with Team Ecstar Suzuki from 2017 to 2022 in the premier class of international motorcycle racing. In 2020, Rins took third place in the MotoGP World Championship, while teammate Joan Mir won the riders' championship that year, an unforgettable achievement for the factory Suzuki team.
That's part of the reason why Suzuki sent shockwaves throughout the entire paddock when it announced that it was ending factory support of its racing teams in MotoGP and the FIM Endurance World Championship at the end of 2022. Maybe that’s why Rins, who was one of the Team Ecstar Suzuki riders affected by this decision, decided to have the last laugh on December 28, 2022, when he made the following prank post on Instagram:
It reads, in Spanish, “Os presento el AR42 Team para MotoGP 2023. Después de meses de negociación @suzukimotogp nos ha cedido la GSX-RR para estar en MotoGP la próxima temporada con un team manager que seguro conocéis. Gracias a todos nuestros patrocinadores por hacerlo posible @estrellagalicia00 @monsterenergy”
Or, in English, "We have reached an agreement with #Suzuki to compete in 2023 with their bike under the AR42 Team with a very known team principal @livio.suppo Thanks to all partners for making it possible!”
The hashtags on this post, incidentally, are #MotoGP, #Suzuki, #42ins, and #DíaDeLosSantosInocentes, which is the only clue if you aren’t trained to look for pranks on this date each year. In some places, April 1 is the day of pranks, but in others, December 28 is it, so it's good to keep an eye out.
Was Rins inspired by the Franco-Japanese Yoshimura SERT team officially announcing that they’ll compete in the FIM Endurance World Championship with Suzuki support in 2023 after all? That team made the announcement on December 16, 2022—just under two weeks prior to this holiday of pranks. We may never know for sure, but it’s certainly a possibility.
In any case, as MotoGP fans know, Rins actually has a contract with LCR Honda for 2023 and 2024—so while he’ll be lining up on the grid, it won’t be with Suzuki. Some people got the joke, and some people didn’t, but it’s pretty clearly not meant to be taken seriously.