Confident Rins expecting strong Catalunya challenge
Alex Rins is full of confidence going into this week's Catalunya Grand Prix as he looks to continue the strong momentum from Mugello at his home circuit.
The Suzuki Ecstar rider, who is third in the MotoGP riders' standings, impressed by surging from 13th on the grid to finish fourth at the Italian Grand Prix last time out.
Rins was involved in the thrilling battle for victory with Marc Marquez, Andrea Dovizioso and eventual winner Danilo Petrucci as his bike proved well suited to race conditions.
His team believe this week's circuit, which also includes flowing corners, will again suit Rins, a winner at the Grand Prix of the Americas earlier this season. They hope it can end up even better than Mugello.
"I'm very curious to go to Montmelo because in some ways the circuit is kind of similar to Mugello," Rins said.
"It has parts which could suit our GSX-RR, so I'm arriving here with confidence.
"In Italy we proved that we can be effective in preparing a good setup for that kind of layout, so I think we are heading for a positive race.
"Things are going well at the moment, our progression and results are good, and we have clear ideas where we have to improve. I'm happy and excited to come to my home race."
Leading the group! What a fantastic feeling. I hope u did enjoy the show // Liderando el grupo Es brutal esta sensación! Espero que hayáis disfrutado #ar42#motogp#suzuki#italiangppic.twitter.com/lAPQ9rHJC4— Alex Rins (@Rins42) June 2, 2019
Suzuki team boss Davide Brivio added: "We had a good race at Mugello with Alex in the fight for the podium once again, and Joan [Mir] taking some useful points.
"This gives us positivity heading into Barcelona, especially as the two circuits are quite similar in some aspects such as the long straight.
"However, the Montmelo layout also has some very flowing corners, which suits our GSX-RR even more. I believe we can start the weekend with confidence and fight for a good race."
It is also a homecoming for Monster Energy Yamaha's Maverick Vinales, who is eyeing a first MotoGP podium in Catalunya.
"I can't wait to be at my home GP," he said. "Montmelo is a very special track for me, it's a circuit that I really like and enjoy.
"There I can feel all the support of my fans, it has an amazing atmosphere. I hope that I can respond with a good result, and why not with a podium? That's always our goal."