Mir forced into hard overtake on Marquez in Portugal MotoGP

Suzuki’s Joan Mir says he was forced into his hard overtake on Marc Marquez on lap one of the MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix because of his ninth-place starting spot.

Mir forced into hard overtake on Marquez in Portugal MotoGP

The reigning world champion made slight contact with the returning Marquez at the Turn 11 Portimao right-hander on the opening lap of Sunday’s race as he made a move for third.

The pair came to blows again a lap later at Turn 3 when Marquez clipped the rear of Mir, though both stayed mounted.

This came a day after Mir was left unhappy by what he felt was “dangerous” tactics from the Honda rider in qualifying, marking the first bit of controversy between the reigning champion and the rider he dethroned.

Mir, who went on to finish third, says he has to be “aggressive” starting so far back “if we want to fight for the championship”.

Asked by Autosport if the hard pass was a little bit of payback after qualifying, Mir said: “In the first lap it’s true we had the moment there [at Turn 11].

“I wanted to overtake and then he closed the line and then it was too late for me. Then we both touched.

“It’s true that I felt a hit in the next lap and I didn’t know that was Marc. So now I understand it was Marc.

“To start in ninth position means this [overtake happens]. If I was not able to make a lap time in qualifying, I have to do these starts.

“It’s like this. If we want to fight for the championship and we [don’t] start in the first row we have to be aggressive. I prefer to start in the first row.”

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Third marks Mir’s first podium of his title defence after a fourth and seventh in the opening Qatar rounds, the Suzuki rider now 23 points adrift of leader and Portugal race winner Fabio Quartararo in sixth in the standings.

Mir, who battled a front tyre issue in the race, admits he’s “a little bit” relieved to get his first podium of the year.

Read Also:

“The feeling is good, it’s amazing to take the first podium of the season,” he added.

“We performed quite good, we just had a bit of trouble with the front in the middle part of the race.

“So, we have to work on it but it’s important that we are on the podium. So, I’m satisfied.

“I mean in Qatar we performed well, we just had that trouble on the straight.

“But for me we are doing a great start to the season, we are there in top five scoring points.

“It’s true the Yamaha guys are performing unbelievably, and also the Ducati have made an unbelievable step.

“But we are there. Probably we don’t have the same speed as them, but probably we have other things that are positive.

“It’s important to be as close as we can to those guys in the first part of the championship, and then from then on to continue doing our championship.”

shares
comments
Quartararo 'feels like he did in 2019' after Portimao MotoGP win

Previous article

Quartararo 'feels like he did in 2019' after Portimao MotoGP win

Next article

Cancelled Portugal pole lap “lost” Bagnaia MotoGP win chance

Cancelled Portugal pole lap “lost” Bagnaia MotoGP win chance
Load comments
Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Plus

Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Plus

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Plus

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Plus

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Plus

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021