Mir “not worried” by winless start to MotoGP title defence

Suzuki’s Joan Mir says he’s “not worried” about the winless start to his MotoGP title defence and admits he “expected” not to have an easy start to 2021.

Mir became the first world champion to begin his title defence season without a podium since Nicky Hayden in 2007 when he was cruelly robbed of second on the run to the line in the Qatar Grand Prix by Johann Zarco and Francesco Bagnaia.

The Suzuki rider finally made it to the rostrum in third in Portugal, but could only follow that up with fifth in last weekend’s Spanish GP at Jerez.

Despite this, Mir is only 17 points off championship leader Bagnaia in fourth in the standings and believes he is taking the maximum results on offer at present.

"I'm not worried about the title at all, because I'm not looking at the overall [points],” Mir said.

“Now I'm giving 100% in every race, getting maximum points every Sunday, we are seeing riders stronger than us.

“I was expecting a start of the season like this, even more difficult.

“Last year I was able to win the world championship and I was a lot slower here in Jerez, it cost me a lot more.

“In Qatar I fought for the podium, in Portimao we were on the podium, I think I'm having a good season... what is expected of us, to win everything?

“I think we are doing well, the goal is to give 100% in every race and in this one the maximum was to be fifth.”

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Mir says his Jerez race was compromised by the Suzuki’s lack of top speed meaning he struggled to break “the wall” of faster riders ahead under braking.

“Well, here in Jerez what happened is I think it happened to everyone of us, but probably with the Yamaha and Suzuki happens more because we probably don’t have the power to overtake,” he explained.

“Then to stop the bike behind the other ones, it’s like they are a wall.

“Being half a second behind some riders, there is a wall where you can’t stop the bike, you overheat the front and then it’s like you have more but you can’t [use it].

“It’s a bit frustrating but it’s not the first time here in Jerez that this happened, especially with the hot temperatures, you see more of these problems.

“I think I’m not the only one with this problem.

“I think we have to improve the qualifying because I’m 100% sure that if I have nobody in front of me, I could improve my time per lap a lot more.

“So, I think Jack [Miller] probably didn’t have a better pace than us. He beat us by being super smart.”

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Series MotoGP
Author Lewis Duncan
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