Suzuki and Alex Rins have so far achieved eight podiums including two victories in MotoGP.

But project leader Shinichi Sahara is confident the best is still to come, after signing the Spaniard to a further two-year deal.

The contract extension also means Rins will become one of Suzuki's longest serving grand prix riders, remaining with the factory that gave him his premier-class debut for at least six seasons.

“This renewal of two more years with Alex Rins makes me and Suzuki very proud because it represents a building block in our project to grow young riders and progress alongside them," Sahara said.

"With this extension, we have stayed with a young, talented, determined and fast rider like Alex for a total of six years, and this is exactly what we aimed for when we signed him the first time in 2017.

"He has grown a lot, and with him also his crew and the whole team has grown too. We’ve achieved podiums and victories, and I feel that the best is still yet to come."

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Rins - who beat Valentino Rossi for victory in Texas, then snatched a last-corner win from Marc Marquez at Silverstone - had been fighting for runner-up behind the reigning champion until suffering three mid-season DNFs.

The 24-year-old eventually finished fourth overall in the standings, then was strong throughout winter testing on the latest GSX-RR. However, the coronavirus pandemic means no races have yet been held in 2020.

"Unfortunately, the situation now doesn’t allow us to prove under race conditions all the progress that we’ve made or the results I believe we are capable of, but this Coronavirus situation is new for everyone and we need to adapt," Sahara said.

"For sure we are remaining upbeat, and this agreement confirms that we are always thinking of the future with optimism and positivity.”

It is thought that Suzuki had first-option on Rins' services beyond 2020 and that a similar situation exists for team-mate Joan Mir, currently waiting for his second MotoGP season and also tipped to remain at the team next year.