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The Suzuki upgrade that made Mir’s Styria MotoGP victory battle possible

Reigning world champion Joan Mir admits it wouldn’t have been possible for him to fight for victory in the MotoGP Styrian Grand Prix without Suzuki’s new ride height adjuster.

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Suzuki finally debuted its rear ride height device during last weekend’s Styrian GP, having been the only manufacturer on the grid without it this season.

The device works in the same way as the holeshot start device, in that the rider can lower the rear of the bike exiting corners to gain better acceleration out of the turns.

Having pioneered the holeshot device in MotoGP in 2018 (though iterations had existed in motocross racing and in British Superbikes years before), Ducati was the first to use the ride height adjuster in 2019.

Only able to finish as high as third on three occasions in the first half of the season, Mir had his best weekend of the year in the Styrian GP by qualifying fifth and going on to finish second after a race-long battle for victory with Pramac’s Jorge Martin.

“Yes, it was a really important improvement,” Mir said of the device.

“Now I don’t understand honestly how we’ve been able to be that strong at the beginning of the season without it.

“Honestly you feel it, it’s the first point to start with the same as the others and then now we have to look to try to improve small things on the bike – just details, but now we start like the others.

“So, I’m happy. I missed that victory for not so much, I was wide a couple of times.

“But, well, I’m happy about the weekend overall and hope to be even strong next weekend.”

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The Red Bull Ring was a strong venue for Mir last year, but when asked by Autosport if he could have fought for victory last Sunday without the new ride height device, he replied: “I think no, I think here in Austria it’s really important.

“Without the device, to be as strong as today is difficult. I would say no.”

Mir and Martin virtually matched each other’s lap times for much of the race, but the Ducati rookie was able to pull away late on when the Suzuki rider’s rear tyre dropped.

“When you fight against a Ducati it’s always a challenge because they accelerate so fast, they stop so well and our advantage is in completely the opposite,” Mir, now 51 points off the championship lead, said.

“And in this track there are more of these thing than work normally for our bike.

“But I tried to give all, in the first 10 laps that the first, second sector on the straight I was losing a lot but then I tried to recover in the third and fourth sector.

“Then at the end with the used tyre, I was losing more acceleration.

“The tyre was spinning and they were gaining really good drive grip.”

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