While riders deliberately slowing down in search of a tow has previously plagued the smaller grand prix classes, Rins believes MotoGP is now worse than Moto3.

"It's unacceptable what we saw in MotoGP. We are the big boys; we need to set an example to the others," Rins said. "The MotoGP riders are waiting more than the Moto3.

"I don’t have words to describe how I'm feeling. I was in Qualifying 1 pushing, pushing, pushing then 4-5 riders in front of me stopped. It makes no sense. It's so dangerous. Race Direction and the FIM Stewards need to do something.

"We talk in every Safety Commission about this, and every race it's the same."

 

Rins, who eventually qualified in seventh, certainly wasn't the only rider targeted for a tow by rival competitors on Saturday.

World championship leader Aleix Espargaro became so livid at being stalked by Alex Marquez and Franco Morbidelli that it contributed to a fall in Qualifying 1.

"It’s embarrassing," Espargaro said. "Today was my fault. I’m in a very good position, leading, feeling very good with the bike. I cannot lose the focus.

"If it’s just a rookie waiting [okay] but everyone (did it). Alex Marquez, factory Honda, three years in the class, waiting for me in FP4, waiting for me in Q1 with the first tyre, and when I saw him waiting for me with the second tyre I was like, Come on!

"I tried to change the plan at the beginning. I tried to start with Franco and give him free space. Then I changed the tyre with 7 minutes remaining to avoid the traffic. Then he was waiting in the garage for me. I became crazy.

"But I need to control this. I cannot control him and his team. I need to be more focussed. A part of this crash was because I lost the focus."

The Aprilia rider, who starts 13th on Sunday, explained that no penalties are currently given for slow riding if the rider being 'targeted' is not already on a fast lap.

"They said if [the riders seeking a tow] are not on the racing line and there is nobody coming on a fast lap, you cannot penalise. Alex Marquez was outside the track, waiting beside my wheel and I was not on a fast lap so they can’t penalise. It’s ridiculous!"

Is it time for Superpole in MotoGP?

Espargaro wants the same 'slow sector' rules to be applied in MotoGP as in the smaller classes, where riders face punishment if they drop below 110% of their personal best in each sector regardless of whether they are on a fast lap.

But the problem has got to the point where Rins believes MotoGP needs to seriously consider sending riders out of pit lane one at a time.

The strictest example of such a system is a one-lap Superpole format, but Rins favours having riders spaced out as they leave pit lane, then left to do a normal qualifying session.

"Some riders say yes, some riders say no [to Superpole]. I would like to do Superpole but for sure maybe I'm not the one who takes the most benefit from this!" smiled Rins, whose Suzuki often struggles over a single flying lap,

"But we can do this, or we can do five-ten seconds between each rider, in order of the FP3 classification.

"So for example [the first rider] goes out, then after five seconds the next rider.

"Like this at least you can easily see who is the guy that closed the throttle. And if they do, then penalise. We are MotoGP riders, not Moto3.

"But like today is not the way."

Rins' comments come exactly a week after reigning champion Fabio Quartararo also questioned why penalties are not given for premier-class riders cruising on track – and also raised the prospect of Superpole.

"I think it must be a little bit more serious and more easy to get penalised," Quartararo had said.

"It's not normal that no one gets a penalty when you have [people going slowly] like this. I'm not complaining but if you talk about safety, for me this was really not safe.

"I think to be honest Superpole can be a great idea, to make one lap and that's it."

An opposing view was given by Pol Espargaro, who feels such tactics are simply part of racing.

"In the end it's always going to be the same," said the Repsol Honda rider. "I was trying to push alone in Indonesia and my lap was super bad because some riders were looking for my wheel. The same happened with Marc in Qatar with me, I was pushing, he was just trying to follow me and I couldn't make my lap in FP2.

"This happens. The guys with more problems are going to look for a wheel. I need to do it sometimes and when I'm going fast someone is going to do it with me. This is part of the job.

"For sure it's not nice, but the guy that is following doesn't want to do that either, but he's forced to do that because he needs a good result and it helps.

"The fastest guys also need to think that not everyone is racing with the same tools. There are guys with bikes that doesn't work as good as their bikes and they need to do that.

"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but the guys with good bikes in MotoGP need to think that they are super lucky to have these bikes and not all the riders have the same luck. So sometimes it happens."

The only 'slow riding' penalty so far announced for Saturday's track action is a back of the grid start and long lap for Elia Bartolini, who was judged to have been 'riding slow on the line and interfering with other riders in Moto3 Q1'.