Suzuki rider Alex Rins is going into this weekend’s British Grand Prix full of motivation, as he looks to build on a strong second season in the premier class and to help return Suzuki to the top step of the podium at the British Grand Prix.
One of the most favoured tracks on the calendar for the GSX-RR thanks to the nimble bike’s sweet handling, upgrades in the past year should help Rins to be even more competitive than ever this year. Retaining its cornering ability while gaining on corner entry thanks to chassis and suspension upgrades, the Hamamatsu engineers have also managed to eke out more power from their engine to close the deficit to the front-runners.
But while the improvements in the bike will increase Rins’ chance of a third career podium (and maybe even a debut win), it’s the 22-year-old’s own step up over the past year that’s likely to make the real difference to his hopes.
Showing on a couple of occasions this year that he’s more than capable of running in the mix if there’s a knife fight for the lead (think Assen earlier this year or Phillip Island last season), he’s going to a track that shares many of the similarities of those iconic tracks.
Finishing ninth at Silverstone last year after his delayed start to the season thanks to injury, it was only in the later stages of the 2017 season that he was able to start making the most of the bike. But while his MotoGP debut might have been hampered by both his injuries and Andrea Iannone’s decision to select an engine spec that had the Suzuki team struggling all season, he’s got a strong track record there in Moto2 and Moto3 – and says that he’s confident a podium is more than possible again this season.
“Silverstone is a track that we like a lot, and last year we did a good job there. This year, we’re arriving with a different bike and more prepared, and I feel now like we can be back on the podium even though really we have to wait until Friday morning to see how it’s going to be in reality.”