Fresh from winning his maiden MotoGP championship last season, which secured Suzuki’s first crown in 20 years, Joan Mir will be keen to maintain his good form going into the 2021 campaign.
Despite not winning a race until the second last round, the Spaniard’s incredible consistency saw him persistently pick up points, with him finishing on the podium on an eye catching seven occasions.
Taking full advantage of the sensational Marc Marquez missing last year due to injury, which is set to force him out of the first two rounds, Mir will be hoping to start well to get the jump on his countryman. When speaking recently ahead of the new season, it’s clear Mir’s relishing facing off against Marquez while noting he needs to improve his bike’s performance. “Well, for sure it will be really nice, I can’t wait to start to have battles with Marc,” he explained.
“The truth is we need to improve the speed with our Suzuki because we have a bike really balanced, but for sure it’s not the fastest one and to beat Marc we need the fastest bike. This is really important. We won the title because I’m clever, but not because I was the fastest at the moment with this package.
“So, this means that if I was able to manage the pressure with this package, which is actually not the best one of the grid, talking about speed, if we get the speed and we start to fight a bit for the pole positions, victories in every GP, then I think we can fight with Marc for sure.
“I think we are one of the ones who has more margin to improve on the grid, because I’m not a rookie but I have a lot to experience and a lot to learn – probably more than the others.”
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Such an intelligent and disciplined operator, the gifted 23-year-old’s rated as the second favourite, with the bookies pricing him at 7.50 just behind Australian Jack Miller at 6.50.
With such heavy competition in MotoGP this year, other riders aside from Marquez and Miller such as Alex Rins, Maverick Vinales, Valentino Rossi, Fabio Quarataro, Pol Espagaro and Franco Morbidelli will all be pushing hard week in, week out for glory.
Still so young and with plenty of room for development, such as in qualifying and in the bike, it’ll be expected Mir will go from strength to strength again this time around.
Although it’ll be an immense challenge to win back to back championships, Mir will definitely back himself to just that, for he has the quality, knows the bike and has the self confidence to go all the way again.