Maverick Vinales and Andrea Iannone both believe 2017 MotoGP rookie Alex Rins won't take long to make his mark in the premier-class.
With Vinales moving to the factory Yamaha team, Moto2 title leader Rins has now been confirmed as taking over his Suzuki MotoGP seat.
“For sure I need to say congratulations to him because it's good when you move to MotoGP in a factory team,” said Vinales, speaking in the paddock on Thursday at Assen. “And I'm going to leave [him] a really good team! What we've created; this atmosphere, this work, this progress. Anyway I think Alex is a really good rider, talented, so he will go fast for sure.”
Iannone will be team-mate to Rins next season, having agreed to join Suzuki from Ducati.
“[Rins] is young and strong rider and I'm very happy,” Iannone said. “It's always good when you have a strong team-mate. I think in the first part of the championship he has a good possibility to learn from me, because I have more experience in MotoGP, but I think he will understand the MotoGP class very fast. For sure he is very strong and very fast.”
The arrival of Iannone and Rins has left no place for Aleix Espargaro, who looks set to join Aprilia. An official announcement is rumoured for this weekend.
By Peter McLaren