I criticized the lack of progress that Suzuki had made with its challenger in 2021 compared to the bike it won the championship on last year, and after the Dutch TT last month found that its current package was “insufficient” to defend his title.
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With just three podium places from the first nine races – all of them third – Mir is 55 points behind table leader Fabio Quartararo before the start of the second half of the season.
Engine development for everyone except Aprilia (as it is a concession team) and KTM (which lost its concessions due to a development freeze forced by COVID in 2020) has been frozen over the winter, meaning Suzuki is not radically overtaking its GSX could -RR for 2021.
But I don’t believe that the development stop has anything to do with Suzuki’s current slump and think that the brand has been caught up with the progress that Yamaha, Ducati and Aprilia have made over the winter.
“Well, I think frozen evolution doesn’t help us, but it doesn’t make it worse because it’s true that we could improve the engine if evolution wasn’t frozen,” he said in an exclusive interview with Autosport.
“But the others could improve it [too].
“Well, I think it’s more like them [Suzuki] didn’t take a big step this winter to make the bike better.
“Well, I think that’s the real problem. I usually share the philosophy of Suzuki as they don’t usually bring new bikes.
“In the tests before the season you can see Honda, Yamaha, Ducati, also Aprilia, KTM with different motorcycles.
“And Suzuki usually never brings a new motorcycle.
“Step by step you bring a new chassis, a new swing arm, a new motor and gradually try to take a step on the bike.
“It usually works, but you have to bring a few things with you.
“I also have to say that I didn’t expect such a big improvement from the other manufacturers.
“I didn’t expect it. Probably Suzuki too. That probably makes it a little more difficult. “
Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
I also rejected suggestions that team manager Davide Brivio in the pre-season contributed to Suzuki’s tough season.
The world champion is placing his hopes for the title on the introduction of the rear height adjuster – which the Suzuki is the only bike not to have – in the second half of the season, but is spurred on by the improvement of KTM from the Italian GP when there is a relatively small update in the form of a new one Chassis introduced.
“We saw at KTM that there is a big boost because it shows that with the same effort as [Miguel] Oliveira and [Brad] Binder did [at the start of the year], now they are fighting to win races, ”he added.
“Well, it’s a little bit that we’re missing. We’re also starting with a downside that everyone started out with a holeshot machine and we don’t have that machine.
“Well, we’re at a disadvantage for acceleration at the moment.
“Well, let’s see if we’re all into the same stuff and then Suzuki starts to bring in new things to be faster, let’s see where we will be. In my opinion [with] that we will be strong. “