Sounds like familiar stories. I started out in CMRA in Texas, then went to CCS southwest, mostly in Arizona (Firebird). Collected some trophies, got used to being in the top 5, and thought I could ride. Then, went to AFM in California in Formula III (Honda RS125's and Yamaha TZ125's) and promptly got my arse kicked to the back third of the pack (there were 30-40 bikes on the grid in those days). What a rude awakening.
Over a couple of years with experience and increased confidence I managed to see the front group on a few first laps. Those guys were sliding and slithering around, knee down, right from the first turn. I decided real quick I was not meant to be there and drifted back to 10-15th place where it was (relatively) safe.
So, compared to the AFM fast guys, I gotta imagine the MotoGP riders are in another universe.... even the slow MotoGP riders.