Suzuki surprised everyone last year by winning the MotoGP title with Joan Mir. But after the surprise, it ‘s time to confirm all that was great in 2020 and, to do so, they’ll also be relying on Alex Rins in Hamamatsu. He was in third place last season and one of the favorites for this year’s world championship. All the talk about the title of world champion, however, inevitably gravitates around Marc Marquez, who’ll be absent at least for the first two races. How did they take the news at Suzuki, on Rins' side?
“Frankly, I was quite shocked,” Alex said. “ I met Marquez when he came here to get the vaccine. We were in the same hotel, and I saw him in the gym. After talking to him and seeing his training, I was convinced that he would be on the track in Qatar for the first race of the year. I saw he was doing really well. Of course, I knew that it would be difficult for him to get back on the bike, but he seemed really fit. He probably felt something during his tests in Barcelona or Portimao.”
How does the world championship change with Marquez’s absence? Do you think you’re among the favorites? Who’ll be the surprise of the season?
“We’ll see how long he’ll be out. If he comes back in a few races, he can still be in the game. I’ll give 100% to win the world championship. I don’t know if I’m the strongest or the favorite, but I’ll try to be. I think Pol Espargarò could surprise everyone with Honda. He did some really good tests here in Qatar.”
What’s the key to winning the championship?
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 2020, it’s that all races are important and that all points count. If I want to win, I’ll always have to be among the best.”
After the tests, you and Mir didn’t seem very happy with the new bike, in general.
“No, honestly I’m happy with the work we did during the tests. Of course, there’s still a lot of work to be done on the flying lap, but I tried many innovations and, after comparisons, I’m sure I can say that the new bike is better than last year’s.”