MotoGP, I swear to defend its title, aim for podiums in every race

Entering the Olympus of MotoGP is always exciting and unique. Joan Mir, reigning world champion who knows the feeling pretty well, is ready to defend the title won last year on the Suzuki GSX-RR with the # 36 on its fairing. It’s been a special winter for the Spaniard but now it’s time to get back on track for the very first pre-season testing. The aim is to fight for the top of the table, trusting the progress of the Hamamatsu bike (now without Davide Brivio), especially in qualifying.

What does the 2021 season look like after the long winter break?

“I tried to prepare even better than last year. Physically, I feel good, I had time to rest and train. I enjoy this moment because I like the pre-season and can try to be so fit.” But I’m also eager to start with new motivations, such as trying fight for the title again and try to do as well as 2020 “.

The start of the season was pretty strange for the team when everyone heard Davide Brivio was leaving. How did you get the news?

“I heard over the phone that I was on vacation and thought it was a joke! The truth is, I wish the best for Davide because I have a special affection for him. I’m not worried that he’ll leave because I have full confidence in the team. I want to think that it won’t affect anything because there are a lot of professional people on the team. The top management at Suzuki are really brilliant people too, so I’m fine. “

What were your feelings as a champion during the winter break?

“You feel very satisfied for a job well done. But this year will of course be more difficult. In 2020 the pressure was focused on making progress as a rider and consolidating my performance in MotoGP.” Now I have to be up front, try to defend the title and fight from the start. The goal is the podium in every race. Last year it was enough for us to aim for the top 5 at this point. “

How did you feel after you won the title, did that give you a boost?

“I definitely didn’t feel drained, on the contrary, I didIt gave me more energy. I had to go on vacation and get away from the bikes, the routine and everything that goes with it. It was the only way to rest. A lot of people around me felt pretty bad at the end of the championship, I think because of the rush and stress, but luckily I felt good. However, I prefer not to think too long about the title, I am already focused on 2021 and the next goal. I am very happy and satisfied with the work done, I made one of my dreams come true. But my wish is to keep looking ahead and win again in MotoGP. “

Why did you choose to move on to number 36 instead of switching to number 1?

“This is related to what I said about looking to the future, I do not consider my work finished. I really hope to take advantage of the number 1 one day, but now is not the time. I am 23 years old and I don’t think the time is right. If one day I win titles like Marquez or Rossi, 8 or 9 times, if it is possible to achieve those things, I would probably take it. The number 36 stands for hard work and the number 1 for showing off. I want to keep winning and fighting, it’s my character, I don’t want to relax or give up. “

What potential for improvement do you have this year?

“I think there is still room for improvement, I’m still fairly new to the championship, it’s only my third year. The GSX-RR just keeps getting better, the team has more experience and that should automatically lead to good results. We won last year with our package which was competitive. I think if we can improve the pace a bit to start from the second row it will make my job a lot easier and I can also be more consistent. “

What goals have you set for yourself in addition to defending your title?

“My main goal and that of my team is to improve our performance in qualifying. We already know that we are fast enough in the race. But obviously when you start higher on the grid it’s easier to fight for the podium or the win. So we have to improve there, so I want to concentrate on testing and be able to take a step forward. “

2021 will be a year with several team changes, who do you see among your biggest rivals?

“I think Morbidelli will be a tough opponent, but it is quite difficult to choose the main competitors. Marc, if he’s okay, he’ll be everyone’s rival to beat, and the same goes for my team-mate Alex. We have to try to have both Suzuki riders at a high level and to encourage each other, which will of course also improve the bike. I think in 2020 we both fought in every race like it was the last and gave 100%. “