The addition of holeshot devices means MotoGP riders have plenty to do as they arrive on the grid for a race start.

And while Suzuki's Alex Rins had no problem with his (front only) start device on the GSX-RR for Sunday's Qatar season-opener, the Spaniard forgot to engage launch control.

Launch control lowers the maximum RPM available to what the team and rider feels is the optimum level for the crucial acceleration away from the grid. Without it, riders still have anti-wheelie and traction control, but must tame the RPM themselves.

"I forgot to put the launch control, and it was very difficult to manage all the power from the bike," said Rins, who began the race from ninth.

Although Rins lost ground on the run to Turn 1, being passed by Pol Espargaro and the flying Jorge Martin, he was able to dive under Franco Morbidelli to hold tenth place.

"At least the start was not so bad, but usually I'm able to recover 2 or 3 positions. This time it was so difficult and I pushed a lot to recover the time lost compared to the first guys, and I think we destroyed the tyres."

Rins reached a peak of fourth place by mid-distance, but the usually tyre-friendly GSX-RR was starting to suffer a loss of tyre grip and dropped to sixth at the finish.

"6 laps before Joan overtook me [on lap 18], I was struggling with the rear tyre. For sure, I pushed so hard in the middle of the race to recover time, but then when I caught my rivals, I began losing that time.

"So we lost everything. But anyway, we did a really a good pace, and let's work for the next one."

And what will Rins try to do differently in this Sunday's second Qatar race?

"First of all, I will try to push the launch control button! And then let's see how we start," he smiled. "We had the pace, I saw Viñales trying to overtake Pecco, and I was saying, 'Pecco, come on, wait two more laps!' Because I knew if Maverick overtook him, he would go.

"[Apart from the start] I would make the same strategy. To push, make intelligent overtakes. For example, if I have a chance to overtake a Ducati on the last corner, I will instead remain behind, because otherwise on the straight, the Ducati will pass me again, no?"

That's exactly what happened to team-mate and reigning champion Mir, who lost out on a podium when he was overtaken by both Johann Zarco and Francesco Bagnaia on the run to the finish line.



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