Alex Rins explains Valencia MotoGP qualifying “disaster”

Suzuki rider Alex Rins called his MotoGP Valencia Grand Prix qualifying “a bit of a disaster”, and says he was resigned to 14th place on the grid for Sunday’s race.

Rins had to go through Q1 on Saturday afternoon, but was knocked out of qualifying at the first hurdle and will have to start 14th – diminishing his hopes of reducing the 37-point deficit to teammate Joan Mir in the championship.

The Q1 session was rain-affected, and Rins admits he backed off on his final lap when he came through the final sectors where the drops of water were stronger as he didn’t want to risk much in the conditions.

“It was not good, qualifying today was a bit of a disaster,” said Rins. “I think we don’t have a lot of luck because in the beginning of Q1 I was leading all the group, trying to do a fast lap. But I couldn’t, and in the end with the second tyre I was pushing very hard in the last lap, I was coming – if not to go through – then very close, but I saw sector three, sector four with stronger rain and full of rain flags and I decided to not risk a lot.

“So, for this reason we are out of Q2. But the important thing is we have a good pace for tomorrow, we know that we start far away. The key is to make a good start, a good first few laps. We know we have the potential.

“This track is not like Aragon, it’s more tight, but let’s try.”

Rins won the Aragon GP from 10th on the grid last month and says he will study the starts from previous Valencia GPs to see if he can learn anything.

“Let’s see, why not?” he replied when asked if thinks he will be able to charge through from 14th. “For sure, we need to study the starts from previous years to take a view to see if we can see something. The key is to choose the ideal tyre. I mean, we are between the medium and the hard compound on the front.

“So, let’s see which tyre we choose and [this] will be crucial to go forward.”

Rins’ team-mate Mir starts just two places ahead of him after struggling to 12th, with Petronas SRT’s Fabio Quartararo – with whom Rins sits joint-second in the standings – 11th. 

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