“Nothing has changed” to give me my breakthrough in MotoGP qualifying

Since his last Moto3 race in Valencia in 2017, Mir has not qualified for a Grand Prix in the front row – although he started third at last year’s Styrian GP after a penalty for Johann Zarco had promoted him from fourth place .

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

© Gold and Gans / Motorsport Images
Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

I enjoyed a strong weekend in Portugal so far and carried it into qualifying in order to be third fastest in the end and only missed the first pole by 0.168 seconds.

After qualifying in the top 5 only once in 2021, Mir was asked what had changed in Portugal so that he could suddenly fight for the front row.

“I honestly think nothing has changed,” replied the 2020 world champion.

“In Misano 1 we started to show a better potential in Aragon than during the [rest of] the year.

“Then the Misano test was useful for us, we worked on a few things, Suzuki also brought something along and we were able to take a good step.

“But then the last two laps were difficult for the conditions, to say the least.

“And here with the weather it looks like we could build a good weekend out of FP1.

“So we needed more laps on the bike to understand all the technical data and all the little things that we changed.

“And yes, right now I’m pretty confident this weekend that I can ride the bike well and I enjoy it. That’s the most important; When you have fun on the bike, you are always fast. “

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

© autosport.com
Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Mir’s qualifying was not without incident, however, as his front row was in danger when his final lap was affected by LCR’s Alex Marquez overtaking him at Turn 1 and then driving far away.

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The Suzuki driver was visibly upset about this and shared his feelings with Marquez in the cooldown lap – although Mir later confirmed that the LCR driver had come to his garage to apologize.

“Well, Alex followed me from FP3, I think, in FP4 and also in the first exit in qualifying,” said Mir.

“And in the second he waited again. It’s not a problem for me if it doesn’t bother me.

“But at that moment I drove the first lap slowly to warm up the tires.

“The lap time wasn’t bad, but I warmed up the tires.

“And I only had one lap left and he decided to overtake me while braking [into Turn 1] and then went far. So that was the main thing. That’s why I was angry. “

MotoGP starting grid: Algarve Grand Prix

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