MotoGP

Rins: Pieces in place to win some races

Alex Rins is the most consistent MotoGP rider on the final day of testing at Sepang; says Suzuki now has the pieces in place to "win some races" in 2019.
Rins: Pieces in place to win some races

From three extensive days of MotoGP testing at Sepang, Alex Rins saw enough from himself and Suzuki to suggest both have the pieces in place to "win some races" in 2019.

The Spaniard was one of the star performers over the three days in Malaysia, his speed during the hottest part of Friday drawing praise from overall pace setter Danilo Petrucci.

Rins may have ended day three with the twelfth fastest time, but no one posted more laps in the 1m 59s on day three – a frightening pace for Sepang, considering the leaders of last year’s race were consistently lapping in the high 2m 0s/low 2m 1s.

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“It was a positive feeling,” commented Rins, who sampled a new Suzuki chassis for the GSX-RR on the final day. “We improved a bit more the bike than the race. For sure our package now is better than the race.

“But we need to keep working. We need to try new things in Qatar because here we didn’t have time. But anyway it will be interesting this championship – a lot of riders will be at the front, because the level is so high. Let’s see what happens.

“[For Qatar engineers] need to analyse all the data from these three days. We did a lot of 1m 59s, which is a good thing. They need to analyse so they can find something new. I’m really happy.

“I think in the end the track was fast. We did the same lap time as this morning. We did a very positive few days of testing. We tried a lot of things.

“I think our base now is a little better than last year. We need to confirm in Qatar that we are right. But we are working in a good way.

“We did a good base on the bike. It’s true that with the heat in these three days we did a very good lap time, very consistent. But I’m calm because I believe in our project, in our bike, and Suzuki is working very hard.”

Was he worried by the outright speed of Ducati, which led to four of its riders occupying the top four places? “No, because the race will be very different for sure,” he said. “Ducati for one lap they are always very fast. But we will see what happens.”

In recent months, Rins has dismissed talk of him being a championship contender. Instead, he says, race wins must come first. So going off these three days, does he feel that goal is closer than before?

“It would be difficult because winning a race is not easy,” he said. “But I think we have the [pieces] for winning some races.”

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