‘Strange and Interesting’ – Joan Mir ready for MotoGP debut at Silverstone | MotoGP
Injury and the Covid pandemic have combined to create the “strange and interesting” situation where defending MotoGP champion Joan Mir has yet to race in the premier class at Silverstone.
In fact, Mir hasn’t raced at Silverstone since his title-winning Moto3 campaign 2017!
The 2018 British Round race day, when Mir was competing in Moto2, was canceled due to drainage issues.
Moving up to the premier class with Suzuki the following year, Mir was forced to miss Silverstone with lung injuries at Brno.
The 2020 event was later canceled due to Covid restrictions, meaning Mir will complete her first GSX-RR laps at the Northamptonshire track on Friday morning.
“Silverstone will be strange and interesting for me because I’ve never ridden a MotoGP bike here, so it’s been a while since I’ve hit the track – I’m going to have to keep training on the PlayStation!” said Mir.
Although he has yet to win a race this season, Mir is now co-second in the World Championship with Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia, although both are 47 points behind Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha).
“Every race this year is harder because everyone is so competitive, the bikes are pretty much even so that means we are fighting harder to reach our goals,” said Mir. But as we have shown, even on tracks that don’t really suit our bike, like Austria, we have achieved some good things.
“The GP is a big party for the British fans and also for the riders, because it’s great to feel them so close. It’s a circuit that I really like, although I haven’t had the chance to ride a MotoGP bike there yet.
“I hope I can adapt to the track quickly and be able to fight for the podiums again. It will not be an easy race, but I hope I can fight for the victory.”
While Mir has no MotoGP experience to rely on, Suzuki has an impressive recent record at Silverstone.
Maverick Vinales claimed the GSX-RR’s first MotoGP victory on the fast and smooth circuit in 2016, with Alex Rins going on to take a brilliant final corner victory over Marc Marquez in the 2019 event.
“I hope I can get a very good result here, but it will be difficult because all the bikes are very close to performance,” said Rins, currently only 13th in the world championship after a previous series of retirements and who has not yet finished. the podium this season.
“But anyway, I think our GSX-RR is a good fit for this track and I really like riding here, so hopefully that gives us a little edge.
“The memories from here in 2019 are still so fresh in my head; it was amazing to win like that after a battle with Marc, and the celebrations with my team were fantastic. My crew worked really hard this year and I would love to give them another good reason to celebrate!
Silverstone will be the second circuit, after Austria, where Suzuki riders have access to a rear ride height system to facilitate race starts and strong acceleration.
Although effective from his first laps on the Red Bull Ring, the system was unsurprisingly still in need of fine-tuning.
“We have a little pumping. Again, that’s normal, right? This is the first prototype of the device and it doesn’t perform 100% perfectly let’s say,” Mir confirmed, referring to the rear of the bike swinging up and down.
“There is a lot more to do to be on par with other devices. But the first step is much better than without. So we will try to improve further.”