Alex Rins and Suzuki looked set for a strong start to the 2020 MotoGP season in Qatar, having impressed for both one-lap speed and race pace throughout winter testing.

In fact, Pol Espargaro predicts the Suzuki riders to be the 'revelation' of this year, based on testing form.

But almost a month after the world championship was due to start and Rins, like everyone else, still has zero points.

Officially, it will remain that way for almost two more months, the global spread of the coronavirus first cancelling Qatar and then postponing the next five rounds. But more are sure to follow.

“At first it was a big disappointment, we really wanted to start, especially as we’d just had the first tests after a long winter, and the testing went well for us at Suzuki," Rins said. “We were in good form and ready to attack.

“Just at the last moment we heard about the cancellation of the Qatar race. It was definitely the right decision because quite soon after we began to understand the magnitude of the [coronavirus] situation.

“You suddenly realise that everyday things, that you normally ignore or don’t notice, have so much more value than you give them. Simple things like family, friends, and of course, health.”

Last year's double race winner is now focussed on staying as physically and mentally prepared as possible, while confined indoors, for a season that currently has no clear start date or event line-up.

"I am prepared for the championship in whatever format it takes," said Rins, a best-yet fourth in last year's standings. "Various options are being considered regarding the distribution of the GP races. Dorna is working hard and dealing with a very difficult situation.

"It will be really tough to have so many races close together but I am sure that when we’re able to restart there will be a very nice championship and it will provide the fans with some great action!”

“Simply; please be patient and take great care!" Rins added, in a direct message to MotoGP fans. "Everyone must be responsible and follow the recommendations of the health authorities.

"I promise that we will try to put on a great show as soon as we can race again, but let’s focus on getting back to normality first.”

Rins was the only non-Yamaha rider to top a day of 2020 pre-season testing, on his way to finishing a close fourth overall at the Losail test.

Team-mate Joan Mir was also a close match for Rins during testing, concluding the pre-season sixth quickest.

 

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