After grinding down his rivals with persistent podiums, Joan Mir starts the final tripleheader of the MotoGP season with a 14-point advantage at the top of the world championship.
Mir may not have taken a race victory but his consistency means the pressure is now firmly on fluctuating Yamaha opponents Fabio Quartararo (-14 points), Maverick Vinales (-19 points) and Franco Morbidelli (-25 points) to slash his title lead this weekend.
But if Mir can beat his nearest rivals at Valencia on Sunday, it could well put him on course to wrap-up the crown at the second of the back-to-back events the following weekend.
“Last time out I was actually slightly disappointed with third place, only because I felt I had the potential for more. However, my goal was the podium and I managed to achieve that,” Mir said.
“In general, I’m feeling good at the moment and I’m ready to fight at Valencia, which is a nice track that I’m familiar with. It will be good to get back on track on Friday morning for a new race weekend.”
Team-mate Alex Rins is now one of the dark horses for the title chase after 1-2 finishes at Aragon moved him to within 32 points of the top.
“Coming into the last three races I don’t feel a lot of pressure, for sure my results have been really good and I’m hoping to continue that trend, but I want to just keep working the way I always do and simply see what happens,” Rins said.
“I’ve had some nice results in Valencia in the past so I’m happy to get back on track and see what we’re capable of this weekend.”
Team Manager Davide Brivio added: “We’re ready to give our best at these two races in Valencia, and the final one in Portugal.
“Our riders have been doing a fantastic job, it’s a great moment for Suzuki as we have been very consistent, with two double podiums in the last two races, nine podiums in total in the season and this makes us happy, but we will try to keep on going.
“Our main focus is just to keep working, trying to get more podiums and see where we end up.”
Suzuki hasn’t won the 500cc/MotoGP title since Kenny Roberts Jr in 2000.