Strategy blunder costs Mir Q2 spot in Doha MotoGP

Reigning MotoGP world champion Joan Mir says a strategy blunder by Suzuki late on in FP2 in the Doha Grand Prix cost him a place in Q2.

Strategy blunder costs Mir Q2 spot in Doha MotoGP

With conditions in FP3 set to be too hot for the Losail circuit to allow for improvements in lap time, Mir is resigned to facing the first qualifying shootout session on Saturday just as he did last weekend.

The Suzuki rider could only manage 13th at the end of Friday’s action, missing a place inside the top 10 by 0.098 seconds.

Mir says he set his earlier benchmark on a pre-heated tyre – which was a fresh soft option, but left over from the previous week’s Qatar GP, meaning it didn’t have the same performance as the fresh tyres he has specifically for the Doha event.

This is common practice, but Mir says his Suzuki team mistimed his switch to the “good” new rear tyre and left him with just one lap at the end – with the Spaniard admitting the GSX-RR simply isn’t good enough to ease into Q2.

“On these days we have to use the pre-heated tyres of the other grand prix and this is something that the tyre doesn’t perform in the same than a new one brand new,” he said when asked by Autosport about Suzuki’s FP2 strategy.

“So, everyone knows it and we just wait for the good one for the last exit.

“For some reason they [ask] me [to] box to change the tyre and I suddenly came in, but then I didn’t have time.

“So, I cannot control the time, I just watch the board.

“Inside the team we didn’t make the best strategy today and well, I’m not happy because it’s difficult, it’s really difficult to make good lap times with the package that we have at the moment and every detail here counts a lot.”

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

He added: “They called me in because we needed to put the good tyre on at the end.

“We didn’t use it [before]. We used a new soft, but not the good one. So, they boxed me late. This was the problem.”

Read Also:

The change in track conditions from the previous weekend has meant Mir is “struggling more than ever” for single-lap pace, but doesn’t feel he has lost anything in race trim compared to a week ago.

“I’m struggling more than ever to make a lap time,” he said. “The harder I try the worse it is and everyone is improving a lot the bikes, I see a lot of levels of bikes and we have to improve our bike. I’m not happy about today.

“We couldn’t see our performance on the race.

“I’m confident we have good performance. In FP1 it’s during the day and it’s difficult to say.

“We only rode with used tyres and the lap times were not so bad, so we didn’t lose any performance about race pace.

“But we couldn’t make the lap time and that’s why I’m not happy.”

shares
comments

Related video

Doha MotoGP: Miller leads Ducati charge in second practice

Previous article

Doha MotoGP: Miller leads Ducati charge in second practice

Next article

Binder responds to “sensitive” Rossi after aggressive MotoGP riding criticism

Binder responds to “sensitive” Rossi after aggressive MotoGP riding criticism
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Doha GP
Drivers Joan Mir
Author Lewis Duncan
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021
The past clues which hint at the MotoGP order in Qatar Plus

The past clues which hint at the MotoGP order in Qatar

The MotoGP season kicks off this weekend in Qatar - two years after it last visited the Losail circuit for a race weekend as last season's round was called off. As ever, the pecking order is difficult to map out at this early stage of the season, but perhaps the 2019 race offers some clues as to how things might shake out...

MotoGP
Mar 27, 2021