Mir feels he is already "really close" to Rins
Suzuki rookie Joan Mir believes he is "really close" to his MotoGP race-winning teammate Alex Rins "almost everywhere", even if he hasn't been able to yet show his full potential.
Mir has had an up-and-down start to his debut MotoGP campaign, which he kicked off with an eighth place in Qatar before failing to score points in the next two races due to a mechanical issue in Argentina and a jump-start penalty in Austin.
As a result, Mir is only 15th in the standings, already 41 points behind Rins, but the 2017 Moto3 champion feels he is not far off his teammate's level in almost every aspect.
"I am not far [from Rins], if you see on the free practices and qualifying we are really close on almost every track, almost in everywhere," said Mir. "But the problem is that he could show his potential and I made a jump start in Austin.
"We are closer than what you can see because in the end I finished 17th and he won the race. But the reality is not this one.
"We are quite close, during all the weekend we were very close on all the sessions and this is my goal, this is what I have to do to also help Alex bring the bike on top and also to help each other to grow.
"We are doing this pretty well but we need to finish the races."
Mir was reluctant to say if being close to Rins' level meant he could already fight for premier-class podiums alongside his more experienced teammate.
"This is difficult to say, it is something that I don't know, maybe the team knows but I don't.
"What I can say is that we are closer than what you can see. This is the most important thing.
"I did not expect it. My feeling is really good with the bike, I am working a lot on the smooth of the throttle and hard of the brakes, this is the way here.
"I am surprised about our potential but also surprised by the bad luck we had."
Mir added that it was frustrating to have had two wasted races in a row in Argentina and Austin, and that he still felt the need to prove he belongs to MotoGP.
"I am frustrated because I never had a penalty with the jump start, never, and I never had a problem with the rear part [like in Argentina], I never had to retire. I am having really bad luck in the last two races and I cannot show my potential.
"It is a bit frustrating because I only make three races and I need to start bring great races to show why I am here, and one [good] race in Qatar is not enough."
Additional reporting by German Garcia Casanova
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