Rins feel ready to assume Suzuki team leader role
Suzuki MotoGP rider Alex Rins says he is ready to lead the development of the GSX-RR bike next year should the team opt for a less experienced rider as his teammate.
A new two-year deal for Rins, who made his MotoGP debut with Suzuki in 2017, was announced at Le Mans, but the manufacturer is yet to confirm who will partner the Spaniard going forward.
Moto2 rider Joan Mir has emerged as the likeliest candidate to replace incumbent Andrea Iannone, who confirmed at Mugello that he would leave Suzuki at the end of the year.
Rins said “people are talking a lot about” Mir, but also Jorge Lorenzo and Franco Morbidelli, as riders who could partner him at Suzuki next year.
“Sincerely I don't care really much,” he said. “I try to focus on my side. If the rider on the other side [will be] with a lot of experience, without experience, I don't care, I will try to do my way.”
The Spaniard said he was not fazed by the possibility of lining up alongside Mir or Morbidelli, the latter currently in his first MotoGP season with Marc VDS Honda.
Asked whether he was ready to take on the responsibility of steering the development of the bike, he answered: “I'm ready for that, yes, for sure.
“In all the teams I've been - I don't want to mean that I was the first rider, but I develop a lot the bike. For example also here, no?
“I'm not saying that I'm the first rider and Iannone is the second one - I think the philosophy of Suzuki is not this one. But for example last year, I developed the bike quite good for me.
“I'm doing my way, and for sure I'm ready to be the experimental [experienced] rider if comes Mir or Morbidelli.”
Rins also stressed that he has already played a part in helping Suzuki achieve the engine gains that have contributed to its much-improved form in 2018.
“For sure we miss a lot last year on the engine, and we did this engine with my opinions and also Andrea's - and basically was more or less the same, same opinions of both riders.”
Mir confirms Suzuki talks in advanced stages
While Mir is the favourite to occupy the remaining Suzuki seat in 2020, the Moto2 rider told Spanish media in Mugello that nothing has been signed yet – but confirmed talks were at an advanced stage.
“We're negotiating flat-out,”he said. “Hopefully this weekend or next weekend we can announce something, but so far nothing is signed.
“It would be awesome, awesome [to join Suzuki]. It's a factory bike and the goal we have set for ourselves is to make the step up with a factory bike.
“It has scored podiums, and I think it's a very competitive bike.”
Mir, seventh in the Moto2 standings, said that he was keen to have his future decided shortly so that he could focus on his campaign in the intermediate class.
“I'd like to finalise all this as soon as possible so that I can focus the rest of the season 100 percent on Moto2," he added.
"I'm not thinking about the Moto2 title right now, but if we're in every race at the front and we're on the podium, if that's the case, we'll try to do it if we're strong enough.”
Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont and Matteo Nugnes
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