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Fresh from a first podium finish of the season in Argentina, Alex Rins has stated his Suzuki is now a MotoGP "winning bike".
Rins finished third at Termas de Rio Hondo, behind championship leader Cal Crutchlow and Johann Zarco, after fending off Jack Miller - who had started the race from pole.
Rins crossed the finish line 2.5 seconds behind Crutchlow, and had led the race at one stage, only for poor cornering skills leading to him relinquishing the lead. Suzuki last won a MotoGP race back in 2016 on the Silverstone circuit via Maverick Vinales, with Rins now confident he can emulate that feat.
"I learned a lot by being with the best," said Rins. "On the last lap I saw myself with chances to win, to fight with them [Cruchlow and Zarco] for the win.
"At Turn 7 I had a scare, I closed the front and I almost fell, which cost me any chances of winning. But step-by-step this third place can become a victory.
"We are happy, knowing that we have a winning bike. I see the Suzuki well compared to the other bikes, we have improved the bike a lot since last year."
Rins contract expires at the end of the 2018 season, however, Sunday's win will no doubt boost his chances of a renewal.
"The important thing is that we are like a family, so I would like to continue here," Rins said. "I do not see any other option besides Suzuki."
The Grand Prix of the Americas at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas will be shown live on BT Sport 2 on the eir Sport pack on Sunday, 22 April [coverage begins 2.30pm Irish time, race start 8pm].
Image: Getty/ Mirco Lazzari
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