Team Suzuki Ecstar and Alex Rins have agreed to terms which will see the young Spaniard on the Suzuki GSX-RR for the 2019 and 2020 MotoGP seasons.
Rins’ team-mate is yet to be announced but current team-mate Andrea Iannone is having a great start to the season with 47-points to his name, and is currently fourth in the MotoGP Championship. With Lorenzo struggling at Ducati could the Italian manufacturer get back on terms with Iannone..? That seems unlikely, well hard to fathom on a factory bike at least, considering their falling out last time…
In contrast, Rins only has 16-points from his one and only points scoring finish, a third place in the melee that was Argentina. Iannone also scored more points than Rins last season so, on the outside at least, Suzuki would choose to sign Rins first before securing the signature of their highest performing rider.
“I’m very happy about this contract renewal. Even when I was still in Moto2, and I was planning to move to MotoGP, it was always the Suzuki project which looked brightest and most interesting in my eyes. My debut last year was complicated; there was my back injury in the 2016 Valencia test, then the ankle injury while training, and finally the arm injury in Austin. So after only two races we had already been through a very tough time, but I always felt the affection and support of Suzuki and the whole Team. We were able to turn the situation around through being patient, working hard, and being consistent, and finally this year we got the first podium together with my third place in Argentina. But no matter the results, whether good or bad, the mood in the box has always been positive. The project that the Team have set up for me is fantastic, I can fully trust the capabilities of the Company and the Team when it comes to development and improvement, and I’m sure we can continue to aim for big results. Now we only have to keep on working hard to see just how far we can go…”
This two-year extension comes as confirmation of the strong relationship between the rider and the team, as well as acknowledging the consistent improvement of the positive feeling between the rider and the machine.
Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager
“I’m very happy that we have been able to finalise the renewal of Alex’s contract for the 2019 and 2020 MotoGP seasons. Alex is growing and improving fast, and knowing that we will have a long time together allows everybody to concentrate and work even harder to achieve important results with him. I’m glad that Alex was happy to stay with us, and I want to thank Alex’s crew and everyone in the Team, as well as all the staff in Japan for creating a nice environment where he feels he can continue to work well and grow. Now let’s carry on doing a great job with this exciting project together.”
Alex Rins arrived at Suzuki in 2017, marking his debut in the MotoGP class. Despite a tough start to the season, where he was severely affected by injury, he was able to properly begin his ‘MotoGP adventure’ around the mid-season mark. He demonstrated consistent improvements in his performances and reported an increasingly good feeling with the bike. The partnership then continued into 2018, with Alex showing fast pace and strong performances in the winter test, followed shortly by the success of his first podium in MotoGP; at the Argentina GP this year where he took 3rd place.
Shinichi Sahara – Suzuki MotoGP Project Leader
“The renewal of Alex’s contract is a source of great pride for us, especially as we always hoped it to be a project which would last for a long period of time. We started this adventure with him last year with the objective of not only seeing him grow as MotoGP rider, but also to grow and develop ourselves alongside him. I believe that the journey to success is a process that must be advanced step by step, taking the proper time, learning from the mistakes and taking advantage of the successes. Both Alex and his crew, together with all the Suzuki team, have made outstanding progress in this sense, and this is the reason why we’re very happy to have the chance to build up this project for two more years.”
MotoGP Championship Points
- Marc MARQUEZ Honda SPA 70
- Johann ZARCO Yamaha FRA 58
- Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha SPA 50
- Andrea IANNONE Suzuki ITA 47
- Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 46
- Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 40
- Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda GBR 38
- Jack MILLER Ducati AUS 36
- Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA 34
- Tito RABAT Ducati SPA 24
- Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 18
- Alex RINS Suzuki SPA 16
- Franco MORBIDELLI Honda ITA 13
- Pol ESPARGARO KTM SPA 13
- Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati SPA 12