Rins had to go through Q1 on Saturday afternoon, but was thrown out of qualifying at the first hurdle and has to start 14th – which lowers his hopes of reducing the 37-point deficit on teammate Joan Mir in the championship.
The Q1 session was hit by the rain and Rins admits he stepped back on his final lap as he got through the last few sectors where the water droplets were stronger as he didn’t want to risk much in the conditions.
“It wasn’t good, qualifying was a bit of a disaster today,” said Rins. “I think we’re not very lucky because at the beginning of Q1 I was leading the whole group and trying to get a quick lap. But I couldn’t, and in the end with the second tire I pushed very hard on the last lap, I came very close – if not to drive through – but I saw sector three, sector four with heavier rain and full of rain flags and I decided not to risk much.
“Because of this, we are out of the second quarter. But the most important thing is that we have good pace tomorrow, we know that we are starting far away. The key is a good start, good first laps. We know we have the potential.
“This route is not like Aragon, it is narrower, but let’s try.”
Rins won the Aragon GP from 10th on the grid last month and says he will study the starts of previous Valencia GPs to see if there is anything he can learn.
“Let’s see why not?” he replied when asked if he thinks that he will start from the 14. “Of course we have to study the starts from previous years to see if we can see anything. The decisive factor is the choice of the ideal tire. I mean, we’re at the front between the middle and hard mix.
“So let’s see which tire we choose and [this] will be crucial to move forward. “
Rins’ team-mate Mir starts just two places ahead of him after he had fought to 12th place with Fabio Quartararo from Petronas SRT – with whom Rins is second in the overall standings – 11th.