This is the Suzuki livery with which Alex Rins and rookie MotoGP team-mate Joan Mir will compete in the 2019 MotoGP World Championship.

The colours, which closely resemble last year's livery, were 'unveiled' online ahead of this week's official Sepang test.

"This winter break has felt so long and I can’t wait to be back riding again," said Rins, who finished runner-up three times last season on his way to fifth in the world championship.

"After the last test in November I left clear feedback for the engineers to work on, as far as I know the improvements we will try in Sepang will not be drastic but many small improvements in many areas, which is totally the Suzuki philosophy.

"We know what we were missing on the bike, so I believe the R&D in Japan will deliver a package which will help us to improve further. My winter has been very intense, with successful recovery and intense training programme.

"This is an important year, because in 2018 we were able to show that we can consistently fight for podium positions, and now it’s time to go for the bigger prize: the victory.”

Mir, the 2017 Moto3 world champion, arrives in MotoGP after finishing sixth overall with four podiums during his sole Moto2 season.

“Needless to say, I am very excited to get back on my bike," Mir said. "This winter has been very long without riding but I focused on my physical training, which has given positive results so far.

"Of course I still need many more hours on the bike, there are so many things I still need to understand to be even more effective, but I feel very supported by the team and I will rely on their wealth of experience to improve, and also to contribute my own improvements to my bike.

"It will be a whole package, me and the bike, that will hopefully develop step by step. I don’t have any pressure, but for sure my clear objective will be to end the season with a smaller gap to the winner when compared to the first race.”

Suzuki took nine podiums last season with Rins and former team-mate Andrea Iannone, including second place at the last three rounds, meaning the factory has lost access to technical concessions.

“We are about to start an interesting season," said team manager Davide Brivio. "Last year we surprised everybody with our progress and a quick come back to the podium positions.

"Having Alex Rins continue with us is very important when trying to improve our team performances. He has the mental freshness of the young guys, but also the consistency and wise head from his experiences of the two last years. This has been further cemented by the good results he achieved in 2018, with a great end to the season. He has already demonstrated his talent and now we have to work hard to take the next step with him, being very much aware of how strong our competitors are too.

"In addition, we’re starting a project with Joan Mir, the newcomer who will make his debut in the top class. This is the third time we’ve taken on a rookie, and we will work hard to continue the positive trend we’ve had with bringing on young riders. We strongly believe that he has great talent, and it’s up to the team now to bring out all his potential with the Suzuki GSX-RR.”

 

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