Factory Suzuki rider and Argentine MotoGP podium finisher Alex Rins has earn his place at the Suzuki Ecstar outfit for a further two seasons, as he becomes the latest factory employed rider to be announced.
Rins has had a successful year thus far, showing that he has undoubtedly got the pace to continue the development of the Suzuki MotoGP programme, giving the team their first podium in over a year at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, whereas Suzuki have also seemingly developed their package enough to keep Rins onboard, having not been off the podium themselves since the sole South American round.
Rins said, “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.”
Suzuki will look to retain Rins as the spearhead to a title charge, having let Maverick Vinales leave the team after two years. Suzuki enter their fourth season back in MotoGP in 2018 and have one race win to their name, with Vinales back in 2016 at Silverstone.
Rins continued, saying, “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.”
Whilst Rins has had the podium in Argentina, he has ultimately finished no other race so far this season, therefore finds himself on just 16 points and in 12th in the championship as he heads to the French GP weekend. However, he is ahead of five other champions of the GP paddock, including Jorge Lorenzo – a triple premier class champion.
Rins concluded, “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.”
Rins heads to a track he has won at in the past, with him beating Simone Corsi in Moto2 in 2016 at Le Mans. Whilst not starting the GP last year due to the aforementioned injury sustained in Austin, the Spaniard also has three other podiums – all in the Moto3 class. The track was home to his first ever Moto3 podium back in 2012, in wet conditions.
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