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After his first premier class podium last time out at Termas de Rio Hondo, motogp.com sat down with Team Suzuki Ecstar's Alex Rins for an exclusive Q&A. Starting first with those rumours - with contract renewal season in full swing, here's what the Spaniard had to say.
Rins: "I'm so happy to finish on the podium"
Speaking about contract renewals, they say an announcement is imminent...
We’ve been talking about renewal and the truth is that it has all been done in a natural and very easy way. The offer we have we can't turn down. There will be news really soon!
Have you done anything special in preseason? How is it to start a season without being injured?
Fortunately, we had a normal preseason, without injuries or setbacks, so I was able to train and complete the pre-established program. This has, without doubt, helped me a lot to ride the bike how I want and tackle the demanding work plan that we had during the winter training, in order to test everything that Suzuki had and we could build a bike for me, that I like.
How did you survive the strange grid situation in Argentina?
The truth is it was exciting - it was sudden and a bit messy. The team were giving me information and they were following the correct the steps. Once we were on the grid again, I relaxed and was able to get a good start.
This was the first time you rode in the leading group, what surprised you most and what lessons did you learn?
You learn a lot when you’re with the leading riders. Above all, I could see three factory bikes, Jack’s Ducati, Cal’s Honda and Zarco’s Yamaha. We were able to gather really interesting information that will definitely help us a lot for the upcoming races.
What was the key moment of the race? Did you see yourself winning at any moment?
At first I saw that I could go faster but I couldn’t pass Jack, so I thought I’ll hang back and he can pull us along, but seeing the speed, I was able to be quicker and tried to pass. When I got past, I was long in the braking and the track was very difficult because you had to be really precise with the lines because in some places it was really wet and dangerous. But, for sure, I really enjoyed each lap.
Highlights: Madness at Termas as Crutchlow wins thriller
What is the objective for the season?
Be consistent, be regular and in the top positions at each race. There will definitely be circuits where we will have more problems that others will benefit from, but the goals is to be able to face all conditions.
What have you learned from Iannone? Do you see him as a good teammate for the future?
I’ve learned a lot of interesting things from Andrea. He’s a rider with a lot of experience in MotoGP and he’s really quick, I think that having a teammate as fast as him is always good for a rider and the team.
Are you dreaming of a victory this year?
Of course not. It’s not a dream, it’s an objective. I don’t know when it will come, if this month, this year or next year but it’s clear that we have the potential to do well and we are working hard to take a win.
Do you see yourself fighting for a World Championship with Suzuki?
The project they presented me when I was in Moto2™ grabbed me from the first moment, then I got to the team and when met and worked together, it reconfirmed everything they promised. I’m really happy in the factory, in the team, how they treat me and I’m convinced of what this bike can do and working as hard as we do, we can achieve some important things. Can we fight for a Championship? First you have to win races with some conviction before you can think about the Championship, but if I didn’t think we could do it, I wouldn’t have chosen Suzuki when I made the leap to MotoGP™.
How do you see the incident with Marquez and Rossi?
Honestly, and without anyone getting angry, I think we saw a great leading group in Argentina. Jack, Carl, Johann had a great race; we exchanged positions, we were battling, the track was really complicated – that’s what I would like the fans to take away from this race; the fight we had for victory and all the effort each one of us gave on the track.
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