Mir admits he has “more to lose” in MotoGP title race now

Joan Mir admits he has more to lose as the MotoGP championship leader but considers this situation “normal” ahead of Sunday’s European Grand Prix.

The Suzuki rider leads the standings by 14 points with three rounds left to run in 2020, starting with the first of two Valencia races on Sunday.

Mir qualified fifth in the damp conditions in Q2 on Saturday, while nearest title rival Fabio Quartararo started 11th, with Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins second, Franco Morbidelli ninth and Maverick Vinales starting from pitlane.

Sunday’s race is a voyage into the unknown for the field owing to the lack of dry running this weekend, and Mir admits he has more to lose than the rest – but insists it’s important not to approach the grand prix fully focused on being the championship leader.

“I think I’m the one has more to lose because I’m the leader and this is normal,” he said. “But I think you have to know how to be a leader and how to be in this position. It’s something important to don’t think about so much. In two races this can change a lot, maybe I’m not even in the top five [after two races].

“So, for sure nothing is done this year. I have to continue being in a top level, in a really good shape and don’t care about the other, just make my own season and then in the last race we will see where we are.”

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With the field set to get just 20 minutes of fully dry running on Sunday in warm-up ahead of the race, Mir says adapting to conditions is a strong point of his but concedes you have to be “a bit lucky” in hoping the base setting of the bike is suitable.

“These conditions are normally good for me because I get used to the conditions, used to the bike quite fast,” he added. “But not only [does] the rider [have to be lucky], also the setting is a bit lucky because some tracks the bike is working straight away and you don’t touch nothing.

“And in other tracks, you start struggling, you then have to put the bike in a good way for the race. This will be a little bit of a lottery.

“The other contenders start further back, which for sure is a positive thing. But every race now is more important than the last one, it’s important to continue being in a good shape, continue being on the podium, trying to win. For sure, some contenders can be with me on the podium, but not all of them and this is the main thing.”

Despite the championship coming down to its crunch point, Mir admits he isn’t feeling too much pressure, and will be comfortable whatever the outcome.

“Pressure is what people who cannot pay their rent feel,” he said. “If I win the title it will be good for me, but if I don't win it, it will also be good for me.”

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