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Mir adds two years to his contract at Suzuki

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Paris (AFP)

Spanish MotoGP rider Joan Mir extended his contract with Suzuki until 2022, two weeks after team-mate and compatriot Alex Rins, the team announced on Saturday.

"The pairing provide a solid and competitive unit for Suzuki as they look towards the future and aim high in terms of results," said a team statement.

Rins, the Moto3 champion in 2017, made his debut in the premier class in 2019. His contract was due to end after this season.

The team statement said that in "pre-season tests he was showing fantastic form and pace."

The MotoGP season should have started in March but is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Carmelo Ezpeleta, the CEO of promoter Dorna, said he is hoping for a resumption in late July "late July in Europe", presumably without spectators and with a limited number of people in the paddock.

"The current situation surrounding the Covid-19 crisis makes for a strange environment for both the team and the rider at the moment, with so much uncertainty in the air," said Suzuki, adding that the contract extension "proves the confidence" of the team "in their young rider".

Prior to Mir and Rins, six-time Spanish World Champion Marc Marquez extended his contract with Honda for another four years until the end of 2024.

Yamaha re-signed Spaniard Maverick Vinales for the 2021-2022 seasons, and announced the replacement of veteran Italian Valentino Rossi with Frenchman Fabio Quartararo from 2021.

For Rossi, who celebrated his 41st birthday on February 16, this announcement does not necessarily mean the end of his career.

"I'll have to decide without having competed in a single race. Anyway, I want to continue," said Rossi in an online interview last week.

"Imagine not racing this year. It would be fairer to race another season and stop after this one. So I'm hoping to continue in 2021," he said.

On Friday, Spaniard Tito Raba, the 2014 Moto2 cchampion prolonged his contract at Avintia until the end of 2021.

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