The Suzuki MotoGP team presented its 2020 livery at Sepang on Thursday (pictured), where there had been rumours that a new contract extension for Alex Rins would be announced.

That didn't happen, although Suzuki made clear they would like to keep both Rins and Joan Mir beyond the end of this season.

"We've been talking for a long time with them. We didn’t yet sign an agreement but it’s quite clear Alex wants to continue with Suzuki, Joan is happy to continue with Suzuki," said team manager Davide Brivio.

"We are very happy to keep them because also we started quite a clear project with them. First we decided to grow up a rider as a rookie like Alex. Then once Alex became, in our opinion, strong we did the same with Joan.

"Our idea is to that, within the top group of maybe 5-6 MotoGP riders, two of them should be our riders, and then see what happens. It looks like it's working and that's why we want to keep both of them and continue this project and see what we can achieve together."

Yamaha has moved first in terms of the 2021 factory rider signings, extending the contract of Maverick Vinales and signing Fabio Quartararo in place of Valentino Rossi.

Ducati had been expected to target both Vinales and Quartararo, might they now turn their attention to double 2019 race winner Rins and rising star Mir?

"Sometimes I'm quite pleased that our riders are becoming so attractive on the market!" smiled Brivio. "It means we did a good job and made good choices.

"It's clear we are happy to keep them and they are happy to stay. It's quite normal that everybody talks to everybody, also there are rider managers asking us about the situation in Suzuki, there are probably manufacturers contacting [our] riders. "It's quite normal in this environment…. But I hope they don’t take [other approaches] seriously!"

Brivio had been at Yamaha when the factory signed Valentino Rossi from Honda for 2004. Was he surprised at how Rossi's time at the factory M1 team has ended, with Yamaha unwilling to wait for the Italian to decide his racing future and signing Quartararo?

"I have to admit that it was not an easy situation, I mean I can understand the dilemma and the problem," Brivio said. "But yes, I was surprised the way they managed. But okay, they know… everybody has his own information, targets, strategy, and you have to respect that.

"But I was surprised to see how it developed."

Meanwhile, Suzuki's immediate focus is on trying the latest range of GSX-RR parts during the Official Sepang Test, from Friday to Sunday.

"We have chassis, swingarm, electronics, the new cowling, many small items that we have to choose this month before Qatar race," Brivio said.

In terms of the long-running rumours of a satellite Suzuki team, Brivio said the focus is now on finding a suitable team for 2022.

 

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