Alex Rins set to renew with Suzuki MotoGP for two more years

Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP is expected to re-sign both Alex Rins and Joan Mir for the 2021 and 2022 MotoGP seasons, potentially as early as this week

Alex Rins - Suzuki Ecstar

Alex Rins is expected to announce a new two-year contract with the Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP team ahead of the unveiling of the 2020 GSX-RR race bike.

The Spaniard has emerged as something of a revelation since making his MotoGP debut with Suzuki in 2017. The 24-year old scored five podiums in his 2018 sophomore campaign. He then broke through with two wins in 2019 - including a stunning last lap battling success against Marc Marquez at Silverstone en route to fourth position in the overall standings.

Heading into his fourth season with the team this year, Sky Sports Italia says the unveiling of the 2020 Suzuki GSX-RR in Sepang on February 6 will coincide with the news Rins will remain a Suzuki rider in 2021 and 2022.

Moreover, is expected Joan Mir will be retained beyond 2020 too. The 2017 Moto3 Champion made his MotoGP debut little more than a year after achieving that feat but acquitted himself well on the ‘big bike’, shrugging off a mid-season injury to end the year as a regular top ten finisher.

Ducati misses out on Alex Rins signature

Coming hot on the heels of Yamaha confirming its rider line-up of Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo for 2021 and 2022, the predicted news that Rins will commit to Suzuki for two more years puts another potential star signing out Ducati and Honda’s reach.

Ducati has intimated it has been shopping elsewhere for riders from 2021 onwards despite having a strong blend of youth and experience in its current line-up, with Quartararo, Vinales and Rins all thought to be on their target list.

As a result of this, it’s very likely Ducati will retain the same four riders – Andrea Dovizioso, Danilo Petrucci, Jack Miller and Pecco Bagnaia – but potentially in a different order. Petrucci and Miller are considered direct rivals for the factory seat, but Bagnaia will get a current-spec Ducati for the first time in 2020, while Johann Zarco has high aspirations from his Avintia opportunity.

One side point to make though is Dovizioso is now in a much stronger bargaining position given the lack of rivals for his seat now.

Elsewhere, few expect Marc Marquez to leave Honda any time soon, while it would take a particularly bad season for brother and team-mate Alex Marquez not to be extended for another two seasons.

At LCR Honda, Cal Crutchlow has hinted he will retire at the end of the year, freeing up a current-spec machine for Takaaki Nakagami for 2021 and 2022, leaving a spot for a new young talent Honda had lacked before signing Marquez.

KTM, like Ducati, are likely to keep their current rider set-up but could yet reshuffle them depending on results.