Mir “didn’t expect” MotoGP rivals to make the gains they have in 2021

Reigning MotoGP world champion Joan Mir admits he "didn’t expect" the step forward rival manufacturers have made over Suzuki in 2021.

Mir “didn’t expect” MotoGP rivals to make the gains they have in 2021

Mir has been critical of the lack of progress Suzuki has made with its 2021 challenger compared to the bike he won the championship on last year, noting after the Dutch TT last month that his current package was “not enough” to defend his title with.

PRIME: Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can’t be written off yet

Scoring just three podiums from the first nine races – all of them third-places – Mir is 55 points adrift of championship leader Fabio Quartararo going into the second half of the season.

Development on engines for all but Aprilia (because it is a concession team) and KTM (which lost its concessions under a COVID-forced development freeze in 2020) was frozen over the winter, meaning Suzuki hasn’t been able to radically overhaul its GSX-RR for 2021.

But Mir doesn’t believe the development freeze has anything to do with Suzuki’s current slump and thinks the marque has been caught out by the progress the likes of Yamaha, Ducati and Aprilia has made over the winter.

“Well, I think the frozen evolution doesn’t help us but it doesn’t make it worse because it’s true that if the evolution wasn’t froze, we could improve the engine,” he said in an exclusive interview with Autosport.

“But the others could improve it [too].

“So, I think that it’s more that they [Suzuki] didn’t find a big step to make the bike better this winter.

“I think this is the real problem. Normally, the philosophy of Suzuki is a philosophy I share, because they normally don’t bring new bikes.

“In the pre-season tests, you see Honda, Yamaha, Ducati, also Aprilia, KTM with different bikes.

“And Suzuki normally never brings a new bike.

“They bring a new chassis, a new swingarm, engine, step-by-step and progressively try to make a step on the bike.

“So, normally this works but you have to bring some things.

“Also, I have to say I didn’t expect such a big improvement from the other manufacturers.

“I didn’t expect it. Probably Suzuki also. This makes it probably a bit more difficult.”

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Mir also batted away suggestions team manager Davide Brivio’s exit pre-season has contributed to Suzuki’s tough season.

The world champion is pinning his title hopes on the introduction of the rear ride height adjuster – which the Suzuki is the only bike not to have it – in the second half of the season, but has been buoyed by the improvement KTM was able to make from the Italian GP when it introduced a relatively small update in the form of a new chassis.

“We saw at KTM it’s a big boost because it shows that with the same effort that [Miguel] Oliveira and [Brad] Binder were doing [at the start of the year], now they are fighting to win races,” he added.

“It’s a little bit what we miss. We also start with a disadvantage, which is everyone started with a holeshot device and we don’t have this device.

“So, this for the acceleration at the moment we are in a disadvantage.

“Let’s see once we are all with the same stuff and then Suzuki starts to bring new things to be faster, let’s see where we will be. I think [with] that we will be strong.”

shares
comments

Related video

Thailand MotoGP round cancelled for second year in a row
Previous article

Thailand MotoGP round cancelled for second year in a row

Next article

Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant

Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant
Load comments
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Prime

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Prime

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Prime

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo Prime

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Prime

What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021
The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano Prime

The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Prime

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Motorsport.com pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on.

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021