Bengaluru, May 17: Ahead of the French Grand Prix in Le Mans, Spanish MotoGP rider Alex Rins has ended speculation about his future by signing a two-year contract extension with Suzuki that will keep him at the Japanese manufacturer till the end of 2020 season.
The 22-year-old had his first top flight podium this year with third place in the Argentina Grand Prix in April.
"I'm very happy about this contract renewal," said Rins.
Rins made his MotoGP debut in 2017 and despite a tough start to the season severely affected by injury, he was able to get up to speed by around mid-season - showing consistent improvements in his performances and reported an increasingly good feeling with the bike.
The Spaniard then showed some serious pace in winter testing ahead of 2018, followed shortly by the success of his first podium in the premier class at the Argentina GP this year where he took third - and fought for the win.
"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," Rins added.
Suzuki Project Leader Shinichi Sahara expressed his delight at having succeeded in convincing Rins to stay with the team.
"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".
(With MotoGP inputs)