With Marc Marquez and Enea Bastianini injured, Rins is the only former COTA MotoGP winner present this weekend.

The former Suzuki rider featured at the sharp end of the timesheets in both Friday practice sessions on his way to an impressive third place, while Nakagami was just 13th.

“Honestly, I'm surprised by Alex, the race pace and also the qualifying lap was really fast so I want to check his data, I mean how he can be one second faster than me?” said the Japanese.

Is MotoGP Chasing The American Dream like F1? | Crash MotoGP Podcast EP.84

“I was pushing, but the feeling was not the best in some areas, in the braking and also mainly still we lack rear grip and in the traction area I'm struggling a lot. So I felt like we have room to improve but obviously he has the same bike and he was able to be one second faster.

“So I need to check where I lose and where I can copy his riding.

“He's riding very well and it’s COTA, where I think he’s won in all three categories. So it means something here, he has a secret! But the good thing is I can see his data because at the moment I really couldn't understand where he gained one second.

“Maybe in the braking or maybe mid corner or exit. At the moment no idea. So really I'm curious to see his data and just I need to study. And then in some area I need to copy his riding technique!”

Rins revealed he had reverted to his original RC213V chassis, after being given one of Marc Marquez’s newer designs in Argentina.

“Since this morning I was trying to focus on the two options of chassis that we have. My basic one and the one that Marc is using and honestly I felt like more confidence with my one,” he said.

“With this strange format of free practices [now] you don’t have a lot of time to test things. So in FP2 I was trying to focus on my bike, on my chassis, trying to improve, trying to do like a good pace. I was struggling in some points of the track, but more or less when we put the soft tyre the lap time arrives.”

While Nakagami will be checking Rins’ data for clues on how to go faster, the #42 lamented that seven time COTA winner Marquez is not fit to ride.

“Marc is a fantastic rider and he puts the Honda in his maximum level. He was riding super fast here. So it's a shame that he's not here because I cannot compare with him on data clearly,” he said.

“I can compare [with Marc’s data from] last year, but you know the track condition changes, the bumps and everything. So let's keep working like this, keep doing small steps and we will arrive.”