Mir “can’t wait” to battle Marquez in MotoGP next year

MotoGP world champion Joan Mir says he “can’t wait to start to have battles” with Marc Marquez, but admits Suzuki needs to “improve the speed” to fight him. 

Mir “can’t wait” to battle Marquez in MotoGP next year
Listen to this article

Mir ended a 20-year wait for Suzuki when he won the 2020 title with a race to spare in Valencia last month, having amassed seven podiums – including a victory – to win the championship. 

He takes over the crown from six-time title winner Marquez, who missed the 2020 season owing to a broken arm he suffered at the Spanish GP. 

Marquez’s participation in the start of the 2021 season is in question following a third operation on his arm last week, which is likely to take up to six months to recover from.

Many have passed comment in 2020 that Mir’s title win without Marquez present is in some way devalued – claims both riders have dismissed.

Mir says he is looking forward to battling with Marquez when he returns, but concedes himself and Suzuki have much margin to improve.

Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com in a special edition of the Tank Slappers Podcast last month, Mir said: “Well, for sure it will be really nice, I can’t wait to start to have battles with Marc. 

“The truth is we need to improve the speed with our Suzuki because we have a bike really balanced, but for sure it’s not the fastest one and to beat Marc we need the fastest bike. 

“This is really important. We won the title because I’m clever, but not because I was the fastest at the moment with this package. 

“So, this means that if I was able to manage the pressure with this package, which is actually not the best one of the grid, talking about speed, if we get the speed and we start to fight a bit for the pole positions, victories in every GP, then I think we can fight with Marc for sure.

“I think we are one of the ones who has more margin to improve on the grid, because I’m not a rookie but I have a lot to experience and a lot to learn – probably more than the others.”

Read Also:

Mir is the first rider since Wayne Rainey in 1992 to win the championship without a pole position, and never actually qualified on the front row in 2020 (though started third in the Styrian GP owing to a penalty for Johann Zarco).

Looking ahead to 2021, Mir admits entering the season as reigning champion does add pressure.

“Well, for sure it’s pressure,” he added.

“You win this title, but for sure for next year you have to repeat it. This is the goal, you cannot say ‘no, let’s see if I can finish in the top five’.

“Now you start with one title on your back, so for sure it will be important to repeat this result and also fight to repeat this result.”

 
shares
comments

Related video

First-ever VR46 MotoGP bike livery revealed
Previous article

First-ever VR46 MotoGP bike livery revealed

Next article

Marquez released from hospital following third surgery

Marquez released from hospital following third surgery
Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo? Prime

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo?

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007

MotoGP
Nov 25, 2022
Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests Prime

Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests

After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez.

MotoGP
Nov 23, 2022
Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems Prime

Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems

While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character.

MotoGP
Nov 16, 2022
Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough Prime

Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough

OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2022
Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending Prime

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness.

MotoGP
Nov 7, 2022
Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun Prime

Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun

Since Ducati announced the arrival of Enea Bastianini to its factory team for 2023, the staging of the four-time race winner has strained the atmosphere within the Italian manufacturer, which has raised its guard in anticipation of what may happen between him and championship favourite Francesco Bagnaia.

MotoGP
Nov 1, 2022
Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard Quartararo's future Prime

Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard Quartararo's future

Yamaha's decision to dispense pre-season with the 2022 engine it had intended to use due to lack of reliability, the promises of improvement to Fabio Quartararo and the advance with which the rider market moves leaves the Japanese brand with less than six months to prevent the Frenchman from starting to look for a way out

MotoGP
Oct 28, 2022
The war brewing as Ducati nears its ultimate MotoGP prize Prime

The war brewing as Ducati nears its ultimate MotoGP prize

OPINION: Francesco Bagnaia has put one hand firmly on the 2022 MotoGP world title after winning the Malaysian Grand Prix, and the permutations are weighted heavily in his favour heading to the Valencia finale. But as Ducati stands on the cusp of something it has longed for since 2007, the Sepang race also hinted towards a future problem…

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2022