Mir: Suzuki ‘hasn’t improved’ title-winning 2020 MotoGP bike

Reigning MotoGP world champion Joan Mir says Suzuki “didn’t improve” its bike in 2021 compared to last year after qualifying down in 10th for the Catalan Grand Prix.

Mir: Suzuki ‘hasn’t improved’ title-winning 2020 MotoGP bike

Mir was on strong firm at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona last year, rising from eighth on the grid to come within a second of victory in the runner-up spot having managed his tyres better than winner Fabio Quartararo on the Yamaha.

However Mir could only manage 10th in Q2 on Saturday at Barcelona, 0.578 seconds off the pole time set by Quartararo.

Mir explained that he simply “can’t go faster” in qualifying trim right now and says the fact he lost two positions relative to 2020 despite lapping two tenths quicker in Q2 proves Suzuki hasn’t made any progress this year - although this is somewhat muddied by the fact Turn 10 has been revised for 2021.

The Suzuki rider also expects his race to run as it did in 2020, but says this isn’t good enough as “this is not the way to win races”.

“I think we will make a race again from less to more,” he said.

“We have to continue improving, because this is not the way to win races.

“Like this, I will be able to be on the podium if I’m good on the race, if I’m able to manage [the tyre] well and make super good laps like always.

“But the truth is that we have to continue improving and pushing because the competitiveness this year is really high. A lot of manufacturers improved and we didn’t improve.

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“Our bike is really good, we have a good base, but I have the same bike as last year.

“What it means is I have been two tenths faster than last year in qualifying and I was eighth last year. This year I’m two tenths faster and I am 10th, so we are not improving.

“We need to push a bit more to have more material and to test more things to improve, because clearly this year a lot of people improved and we have a good package but we didn’t improve.”

Mir admits this current lack of progress from Suzuki has him “a bit worried”, adding: “I want to defend the title and I think that Suzuki also does.

“But I think that we can push a bit more, honestly, to bring more things because the team works really well.

“But it’s not enough, the others are working harder maybe. We need to work all of us harder if we want to defend the crown.”

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