Joan Mir’s route towards a potential 2020 MotoGP World Championship win has been a surprise for many, but none more so than for the man himself after revealing he initially targeted podiums from his second season in the series.
Ironically, podiums was exactly what he was achievement up to last weekend in Valencia before a timely maiden MotoGP win put Mir on a firm course towards a shock 2020 MotoGP World Championship title
Multiplying an advantage he had slowly cultivated over preceding rounds as consistency won over raw performance, the victory has now allowed the Spaniard to open up a 37 point margin with two races remaining.
It means a podium finish, an achievement he has managed in seven of the last nine races, will alone be another to secure the crown regardless of how his rivals fare.
For now Mir is keeping his cool, admitting the odds are certainly in his favour before tempering this by saying there is still plenty to stop him from achieving his goal.
“I feel great, honestly. It’s a special weekend to have the first match ball, so it means we have done a great job during the season,” he said. “We have a good advantage on points but it is still not done, there is still a lot of work to do here in the second race. For sure, riders will improve their performance because it is the second weekend on the same track and a lot of people will improve. I hope to also improve, I think we have a bit of margin.”
When asked whether he ever expected to be in a position to win the MotoGP title in only his second season in the series – and only his fifth total in GP racing – the Spaniard was emphatic in his own surprise, saying he was just anticipating podiums by the end of the year.
“Of course not, I didn’t expect this potential in the season. I expected to struggle at the beginning and then get some podiums, but all this success and this consistency, I didn’t expect it. We are managing in a good way, so I hope to continue that to the end of the season.”
Suzuki GSX-RR: A bike with no discernible weaknesses
While Mir’s seemingly bulletproof consistency and his snowballing raw speed in 2020 has been highlighted as the key weapons of his armoury, credit has also been levelled at Suzuki, which has evolved the GSX-RR into a machine that has no discernible weaknesses.
Faultlessly reliable, agile handling and an engine – formerly a weakness of the package – that can keep up down straights, the GSX-RR is now considered the most rounded machine on the grid. Mir says this is a credit to the hard work Suzuki has completed before he joined the team in 2019.
“It’s not the work of this year, it’s the work of the years [before] and the bike is getting better and better, this means the work was super good.
“One competitive MotoGP is not done in one year, it means a lot of effort and work, at the end in my case I didn’t expect this potential of the bike at the beginning of the year. I felt really great and the tests in pre-season I could see the performance but these results are super good and consistent.