While we don't have a lot of racing happening these days, there is some good news coming in for the future seasons of MotoGP. Suzuki Racing Company, the motorsport arm of Suzuki Motor Corporation and MotoGP rider Alex Rins have mutually decided to extend their partnership for another two seasons until the end of 2022. The 24-year-old Spanish rider will continue to pilot the Suzuki GSX-RR for the 2021 and 2022 seasons of MotoGP, solving another puzzle in the rider's market. With Rins' contract extension, he becomes the fourth rider to be confirmed for the next season with Marc Marquez continuing with Honda until 2024, Maverick Vinales with Yamaha and Fabio Quartararo signed up by Yamaha, stepping in place Valentino Rossi, who retires at the end of this season.
Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP rider, said, "My wish was to continue with Suzuki and finally this is what I did. I believe that the project has the potential to be a winning one, I have the desire to win, and so we match perfectly. It's the perfect place for me, and we are working hard all together to get big results. I have always believed in the team and for this reason it was easy to get to the basic agreement very early on. Then we took some time to finalise the details and follow all the internal processes. Now we have to understand what's going to happen with the 2020 season, we are ready to compete at the maximum level, as we already showed in the pre-season tests. In this very moment the whole world is facing an unexpected situation that affects pretty much all countries and we need to be patient and see how it evolves. We will make ourselves ready for when we will be called to start racing, whenever this will happen. Dorna is doing all they can to allow us to compete, but they are of course taking into account what matters most: the safety and health of people. We can only stay ready and wait to be told when we can start, and in the meantime focus on training."
Shinichi Sahara, Team Suzuki MotoGP Project Leader, said, "This renewal of two more years with Alex Rins makes me and Suzuki very proud because it represents a building block in our project to grow young riders and progress alongside them. With this extension, we have stayed with a young, talented, determined and fast rider like Alex for a total of 6 years, and this is exactly what we aimed for when we signed him the first time in 2017. He has grown a lot, and with him also his crew and the whole team has grown too. We've achieved podiums and victories, and I feel that the best is still yet to come. Unfortunately the situation now doesn't allow us to prove under race conditions all the progress that we've made or the results I believe we are capable of, but this Coronavirus situation is new for everyone and we need to adapt. For sure we are remaining upbeat, and this agreement confirms that we are always thinking of the future with optimism and positivity."
Alex Rins started his premier-class career with Suzuki in 2017, and has had a strong record for the team. The Spaniard's first podium was achieved in the Argentina GP in 2018 and fifth finish in the overall standings that year. The 2019 saw him at the top with other championship contenders, finishing consistently in the top five in several races. He also took two wins last year in the Americas GP and the British GP. Rins managed to finish fourth in the overall standings last season, improving his record over the previous year.
The 2020 pre-season conducted earlier this year showed promising results for Rins. However, we haven't had a chance to see the teams in action yet with the global lockdown in place due to the Coronavirus pandemic. While the initial races of the season stand cancelled, the MotoGP races are expected to start by June 21, 2020 ar Sachsenring in Germany. The calendar is expected to be further rescheduled to accommodate more races.