The good news for Joan Mir is that he has already wrapped up the MotoGP title.
The bad news is that his 20th place on the grid for the Portimao finale not only hurts his chances of a strong end to a dream season, but puts Suzuki on the back foot in its fight with Ducati and Yamaha for the MotoGP Constructors’ title.
Suzuki and Ducati are currently tied on points, meaning whichever factory has the highest finishing rider on Sunday will take the crown – as long as that rider is not more than 13 points behind the best Yamaha.
But the top Yamaha (Franco Morbidelli) will start second on the grid, with the lead Ducati (Jack Miller) in third. Meanwhile, the best Suzuki is Alex Rins down in tenth after Mir was hit by electronic problems on Saturday.
“It was a really difficult day because we had a problem with what looks like the electronics and I was not able to stay on the bike!” Mir said. “But when we realised it was too late, it made us go in the wrong direction and today was a day lost.
“Due to this problem I could not show a good performance, but I’m confident tomorrow we will put it all together and the warm-up will be important. I think it will be a great comeback.”
Mir said he was unable to be clearer about the problem he had suffered, only that: “It was electronic. I’m 100% we will have it fixed for tomorrow. But I cannot speak about the problem.”
Rins, as well as aiming to hand Suzuki the constructors’ title it needs to complete a perfect triple crown, is also in contention for second place behind his team-mate in the riders’ standings. However he needs to bridge a four-point gap to Morbidelli.
“Let’s see what we can do tomorrow. I’ll start on the fourth row in 10th, and I think I can do something. My lap times and feelings have been good, and even though the track is quite tight and technical, I feel positive,” Rins said.
“Tomorrow morning’s warm-up will be important for testing my rhythm once again, because now we’re sure of the set-up, so the next thing is just to feel a bit more comfortable in my rhythm.
“I’ll try extremely hard to get the best position possible to end the season on a high with my Team and with the hope of the triple crown.”