Joan Mir is amazed by the accident at Le Mans at the end of the race

The Suzuki driver had made good progress from 14th on the grid and had fought his way into the top 9 when he slipped out of the race at the end of the fifth lap in the heavier rain.

After Mir failed to return his damaged bike to the pit lane, Mir was unable to switch to his second wet condition bike setup during the flag-to-flag stop – flag race ahead.

Mir – who is now 31 points behind the championship lead – explained his day: “During a championship fight there are always some races where you make a mistake and get a zero [score].

“If there’s only one, it’s really good. But that wasn’t part of my plan today.

“I wanted to do my best. To be honest, I felt strong on the track, I was able to overtake a lot of drivers on the first laps.

“I was in the group. I passed once [Miguel] Oliveira I tried to overtake Aleix [Espargaro] and then with Marc. to be in the group [Marquez] and [Alex] Kidneys.

“But the rain came and on this lap I honestly don’t know what happened.

“For my part, I have to apologize to the team for making a mistake.

“I saw that the bike wasn’t going and I’m running to the pits… I knew I had to come on the bike, but the bike was a bit damaged and I started walking.

“I don’t know why, the adrenaline or something. But I will learn from this experience for the future, I will certainly not repeat it. “

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Teammate Alex Rins was in the lead group at the end of the fifth lap when they switched bikes and got out second behind Marc Marquez.

But Rins crashed seconds later in the Dunlop chicane and then crashed a second time on his other bike, which was designed for the dry, making the Suzuki “aggressive” on wet tires.

“The heavy rain was a great shame because yesterday I told my employees, my team, that I felt pretty good in dry conditions and that we were able to make it onto the podium,” said Rins after his second racing accident in a row in 2021.

“But then you saw a perfect start, good laps at the beginning.

“Then it started to rain, we risked a lot, all the drivers, because it was big, big, big water.

“Then I went out of the box, usually in this corner in practice when we weren’t using the brakes to pull out, and this time I braked a little with the front to turn and I lose the front.

“Then I go in to change the bike again and we start with Medium / Soft, but the biggest problem was the dry set-up for the wet bike.

“In the first few laps I struggled to warm up the tires, but in general I had the feeling that the bike was too hard and a bit aggressive and that I lost the front again.”

Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images