Alex Rins insisted on focusing on the positives of “an incredible race” on Sunday and admitted he had “destroyed” his tyres when trying to run with the leading riders in the first ever MotoGP race in Thailand.

Starting from eleventh place on the fourth row, Rins soon carved a swift passage through the top ten to sit fifth with the 26-lap race nearing its end. But making such progress came at a price: his tyres were worn out as he pushed to catch the leading quartet.

Johann Zarco honed in on his Suzuki GSX-RR on the final lap and made a firm pass at turn nine to steal fifth. Still, Rins was upbeat on Sunday evening and was pleased to have finished a place behind the Frenchman, just over 3 seconds from race winner Marc Marquez.

“Well, I think it was an incredible race,” began Rins. “I pushed a lot from the beginning, to try to reduce the gap with the first group, and I lost a lot of time fighting with other riders, not with Pedrosa, but the others.

“Anyway, I think I pushed a lot in the beginning and I destroyed a little the tyres, and then I was trying to keep my pace, trying to be there, fifth, sixth with Zarco, but finally sixth, so I think it was a good race.

"I think the strong point for us today on track was the braking area. We lost a lot of time in the beginning, because fighting with Andrea [Iannone], [Danilo] Petrucci, [Jack] Miller, we lost a lot of time. But anyway, I think we did a great race.”

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Using Michelin’s hard rear tyre, Rins admitted he was “on the limit” in the closing laps as he fought for rear traction in the stifling afternoon temperatures.

“Yes, the tyres arrived a little bit on the limit, because fighting until the end was a little bit hard,” he said. “But anyway, I think we did a good evolution with the tires, trying to control a lot, and it was good.

“Our strong point is the race pace. We need to improve a lot on the qualifying, for sure, but the race pace was good.”

The Spaniard will now focus on the exhaustive flyaway schedule, which sees riders compete on three consecutive weekends. As this was when Rins really come into his own as a premier class rider a year ago, he is travelling to Japan in a positive frame of mind.

“We are doing good races since the middle of the championship, so we arrive to Japan with a lot of expectations, trying to fight for the podium. We will give 100% and we will try to be there.”

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