When Alex Rins climbed from seventh to third on the opening lap of the Americas MotoGP, he looked in with a fighting chance of back-to-back COTA wins.

But the Suzuki rider soon hit traction problems out of the slow corners and was hustled back to sixth by the middle stages.

The Spaniard retaliated by passing the Ducatis of Jack Miller and Jorge Martin during the second half of the race, and fourth equalled his best result of the season after of the Silverstone podium, but it had been a struggle.

"It was a very very difficult race for me. I struggled a lot, because exiting from the corners we were losing a lot of time. I don't know if it was because of the rear traction, the aerodynamic package, or what," Rins explained.

"I couldn't fight. I couldn't hold an overtake, at least during the first metres on the straight. Then on the fast corners, we were able to ride quite well, but we were losing a lot exiting from the slow corners…

"I was trying to survive, because of the traction issues and the bumps."

Rins was unsure if an alternative rear tyre choice may have been better.

“We chose the soft rear, like everybody else, because it seemed to be the best option to enter the fight with the same weapons," he said.

"In the end it’s hard to tell whether another choice may have worked better, but I’m glad I was able to get fourth - it’s not so bad and I could bring home some nice points.”

With Rins' team-mate and reigning champion Joan Mir finishing the race in seventh, which became eighth after a penalty for contact with Miller, Suzuki now has just three races left to claim a race win this season.

“It was good that both riders could finish, and not in bad positions, but we wanted more," said Suzuki technical manager Ken Kawauchi. "We weren’t able to fight for the podium here, which was a pity, especially given our past performances at COTA.

"It’s clear that we need to continue working. We’ll keep our heads down and push for the remaining rounds.”

Suzuki, which won the riders' and teams' titles last season, is currently third in the 2021 riders' (Mir), teams' and constructors' standings.

Rins - who like Mir, won one race last year - is twelfth in the world championship but within 23 points of Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) in eighth with a potential 75 points still to be decided.