MotoGP

Rins ‘had potential to win race’

Alex Rins admits he was “really frustrated” in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s thrilling opener in Qatar; “they were playing with me on the straight.”
Rins ‘had potential to win race’

Alex Rins admitted he was “very angry” in the midst of a thrilling opening race of the 2019 MotoGP as his repeated attempts to break away from an eight-rider dogfight were undone by a lack of top speed.

The Suzuki rider was inspired in the early laps of the Grand Prix of Qatar as he rose from a lowly qualifying position of tenth to repeatedly pass Andrea Dovizioso for the lead.

Rins and the Suzuki GSX-RR’s corner speed was “embarrassing,” according to Dovizioso, who knows a threat when he sees one. The Italian made a concerted effort to pass Rins immediately throughout the race, a tactic that left the Spaniard “really frustrated.”

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His early speed demonstrated Rins was right to think he “had the potential to win the race,” but ultimately the top speed advantages of Dovizioso’s Ducati and the Hondas of Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow were too much.

“In the first ten minutes I was really frustrated,” said Rins, more upbeat when speaking with the press on Sunday night. “But then I was really happy because all we did in the preseason we demonstrated that we are very close.

“I think I had the potential to win the race, sincerely. But anyway, this sometimes happens. We have some good points, but some worse points. We have very good corner speed, but [not] on the main straight.

“Ducati has good speed, good brakes, but slow corner speed. This is life! I’m very happy. I’m not complaining about this. We knew before starting this race that this track will be hard for us.

“The important thing is we did an incredible race, overtaking a lot of riders. I learned a lot.

“Inside of the helmet I was very angry because I had good race pace, like them. For example, for the management of the tyres I finished the race with good performance.

“As they said, they were playing with me on the straight. But anyway, sometimes it’s like this. Now we go to Argentina and it will be different for sure.”

Rins also feels Dovizioso and Crutchlow may have passed Marquez and himself respectively on the run to turn one on the penultimate lap when yellow flags were shown for Bradley Smith’s crash on the previous lap.

“What I saw was Crutchlow and Dovi overtook under the yellow flag. This is what I saw and I think Marquez saw it too. Anyway, I finished in fourth position and I’m very happy.”

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