Suzuki has signed Alex Rins to a two-year contract to race for its factory MotoGP team. Rins, the current Moto2 championship points leader, will ride the Suzuki GSX-RR alongside the recently-signed Andrea Iannone.

Rins made his GP racing debut in 2012, finishing fifth in the Moto3 championship on a Honda-powered Suter, recording one podium. The following season, Rins switched to a KTM RC250GP, finishing second overall behind current Suzuki rider Maverick Vinales, recording 14 podiums including six wins.

After another season in Moto3 (finishing third), Rins moved up to the Moto2 class in 2015, finishing second overall behind Johann Zarco. After seven rounds this year, Rins leads the Moto2 championship by 8 points ahead of Sam Lowes, recording four podiums including two wins.

Rins’ signing signals the end of Aleix Espargaro‘s tenure with Suzuki following the completion of this season. Espargaro currently sits seventh overall in the championship, which makes him the highest-placing rider still unsigned for next season. Aprilia is the only manufacturer with a factory ride open is reportedly close to announcing a deal with Espargaro.

[Source: Suzuki]