Alex Rins 'ready' to lead Suzuki – Brivio
Suzuki MotoGP team boss Davide Brivio says Alex Rins is “ready” to be the Hamamatsu marque's number one in 2019, but concedes being the “reference” will bring added pressure.
Rins will enter his third season in the premier class with Suzuki in 2019 after a strong sophomore year in 2018, when he amassed five podiums and fifth in the standings.
Now definitive team leader with the departure of Andrea Iannone to Aprilia, Brivio admits Rins “might get some pressure” as a result, but believes he is “ready” for it.
“As far as Alex is concerned, he's going into his third season and of course he might get some pressure,” said Brivio when asked if Rins is ready to become Suzuki team leader.
“But that's the sport, that's the way it works and especially in the beginning of next year he will be the reference in the team.
“He will be the expert rider, but in my opinion he's showing he is ready for that, and this should be – not a pressure – but an extra motivation for him to perform and go for the next step, which is very difficult we know.
“It's very difficult to improve from this, maybe next season will be a little bit worse. But our target now is to do a little bit better.”
Rins will be joined by 2017 Moto3 world champion Joan Mir next season, who steps up from a moderately successful debut Moto2 campaign this year, in which he was sixth overall.
Mir will be the third rider plucked straight from Moto2 by Suzuki in five years, and Brivio believes if the team works in the “right direction” Mir will be able to follow in the footsteps of Maverick Vinales – who won for Suzuki at Silverstone in 2016 – and Rins.
“As far as Joan is concerned, I know it's only his first year but we've seen a very talented rider, which we think he is, and you never know [what he will achieve],” he added.
“We will talk next year like that. But we've seen with Maverick, we've seen with Alex, when you have a rider with talent, then you need to work.
“I think with Joan, I hope, it could be pretty much the same [as with Vinales and Rins].
“So if we work in the right direction with him to allow him to grow up and try to – I won't say to teach him – but to help him to understand everything in MotoGP, he will use his talent, and I really believe he will be one of the top riders”
“I think and hope as soon as possible Alex and Joan will start to compete inside the team, because that makes both riders improve their results.
“This is what we see in other teams, when you have two riders at the same level that try to beat each other, you end up having a benefit for the team and better results.”