Rins secures two-year Suzuki MotoGP contract extension

Suzuki has firmed up half of its line-up for the 2021 MotoGP season after it confirmed it had retained the services of Alex Rins on Sunday

Rins made his MotoGP debut with Suzuki in 2017 following a two-year stint in Moto2 with Pons Racing, and has remained aboard the GSX-RR since then.

The Spaniard repaid Suzuki's faith in him last year by giving the Japanese manufacturer its first brace of victories in a season since its last title-winning campaign of 2000, when he fended off Valentino Rossi for his maiden win at Austin and beat Marc Marquez by 0.014s in a thrilling British Grand Prix.

Rins would end the campaign fourth in the riders' standings.

Suzuki has made no secret of its desire to retain both of its current riders Rins and Joan Mir, with team boss Davide Brivio recently telling Autosport that everything was "agreed" for both to stay on for two more years.

Taking to Instagram live on Sunday, Rins confirmed his new two-year deal along with Brivio.

"We are very happy to confirm Alex Rins as a Factory Rider of Team Suzuki MotoGP for two more seasons; 2021 and 2022," Brivio said.

"With this agreement we take our relationship to 6 years, and we believe that this stability will prove positive for all of us.

"I must say that this agreement was just awaiting a 'stamp' on it, because both Suzuki and Alex had the will to continue together and a basic agreement for the continuation was already achieved months ago.

"So now that everything is done we can finally proudly announce it.

"As a team our aim is to keep the whole working group together and become even stronger, we had a fantastic end of the season last year and this is the starting point we want to rely on when we will be able to start racing again."

Mir's contract renewal is yet to be announced.

Suzuki enjoyed a strong pre-season testing phase, with a GSX-RR occupying a top three spot on the combined times in both the Sepang and Qatar tests.

Suzuki is the third manufacturer this year to start firming up its future plans, after Yamaha set the rider market into motion in January when it confirmed Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo for its works team line-up.

Honda stole the headlines in February when it announced it has secured reigning six-time world champion Marc Marquez for four more years - in a deal rumoured to be worth €100 million.

Ducati was interested in Vinales and Quartararo, as well as Mir, but is now facing a shortage of options.

Speaking to Autosport last month, Ducati boss Paolo Ciabatti admitted the Italian marque's works line-up will consist of two of the five currently contracted riders - Andrea Dovizioso, Danilo Petrucci, Jack Miller, Francesco Bagnaia and Johann Zarco - riding Desmosedicis this year.

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