Ecstar Suzuki’s Alex Rins will make his MotoGP debut at Catalunya this weekend after missing his home event through injury last year.
Suzuki will return to action for the first time since confirmation Joan Mir will replace Andrea Iannone in the team, who has signed for Aprilia, taking over from Scott Redding.
Rins finished fifth on the GSX-RR behind Iannone at Mugello in Italy and his strong result, combined with the benefit of a test at Catalunya a few weeks ago, has given the young Spaniard a lift going into this weekend’s race.
“I’m excited to race in Montmelò for the GP of Catalunya because it’s my home GP,” he said.
“The atmosphere here is always very special, it’s not only the circuit which is very exciting but also the whole weekend, with a lot of people supporting us all – and me in particular.
“We arrive in good shape; the race in Mugello was a positive one and also the test we did here some weeks ago gave us important direction, hope, and positivity.”
Suzuki development rider Sylvain Guintoli will also return this weekend as a wildcard after competing in the Catalunya test.
Guintoli said: “Working with Team Suzuki Ecstar is amazing. I remember the first time I rode the Suzuki GSX-RR, there was incredible speed and a fantastic feeling – I still get this feeling every time, and it has been getting better and better.
“Together we have done a great job during this past year, and the bike has made good progress. It is an honor and a pleasure to be racing the Suzuki GSX-RR in Barcelona this weekend as a wildcard.”