Alex Rins continued to turn heads at the first MotoGP test of 2019 as Sepang by posting the second quickest time on Thursday, a day in which he described his pace aboard used tyres as “incredible”.

The softly spoken 23-year old was on course to top the time sheets until Maverick Viñales’ late effort demoted him to second. Rather than the final positions, it was his feeling with Suzuki’s new machine that pleased him most.

The Hamamatsu factory unveiled a revamped fairing for Rins to test on day two at Sepang, and the Spaniard went on to reveal he still had a chassis to sample during the test’s final session.

“A good day, yes. Also yesterday [was the same],” said Rins. “I’m very happy because from the race bike to now, we improve. For sure, we improve – not one second, but some tenths. That’s very important finally at the end.

“We tried a new fairing that gave me more support on the front, less wheelie, which is important for the speed. And also on the electronics.

“I’m quite happy too because for tomorrow we have a new chassis to try and I hope to be a little more faster. But as you said, the rhythm with 20-25 laps on the tyre was incredible.

“[We have] A little bit more power, we get from the engine. We are faster on the straight because of the fairing – it’s more aerodynamic. The front wheel is more on the floor.

“[With this package I can do] A little bit of everything. The bike gave me confidence to enter faster and do good corner speed. Also by myself, every lap I make I’m trying new things.

"The rhythm was very good, also with race distance tyres we did 2m 00.0s so I’m quite happy.”

Rins’ preseason pace comes after a heartening end to 2018, when he finished inside the top six for seven races running, a stint that included two runner-up finishes and one third.

Asked what Suzuki has aimed to achieve with its new package, Rins commented on how the factory has focussed on small details. “It’s not a big change,” he said. “We don’t need to try the rear wheel in the front. Just small adjustments that will give us more information and more consistency.

“We need to confirm a lot of things. We tried a lot of things. I gave the engineers my opinion and they need to their opinion. But I think if it’s possible to improve in some places, maybe in stability on the brakes I would like to do something.”

Comments

Loading Comments...