Mir: “Pressure now much higher” on Quartararo in MotoGP title race

Reigning MotoGP world champion Joan Mir believes the pressure on 2021 points leader Fabio Quartararo is now “much higher” after extending his standings advantage considerably in Austria.

Mir: “Pressure now much higher” on Quartararo in MotoGP title race

Quartararo came to the Austria double-header to kick off the second half of the season 34 points clear of the rest after four wins from the first nine rounds.

And after a third and seventh in the Red Bull Ring races, Quartararo’s lead has swollen to 47 points heading to next weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Mir, who now sits joint-second in the standings as he looks to defend his 2020 title, believes the next three races at Silverstone, Aragon and Misano will be a pivotal point in the championship battle and believes the pressure will only continue to mount on Quartararo.

“Well, Fabio now I think will start a different championship,” the Suzuki rider said. “I think in the next three races we will start to see a different championship.

“Even if he has a considerable distance [at the top of the standings], now I think the pressure will start every race to be higher. It’s always difficult for a rider to manage that pressure.

“Also, probably all the pressure of Yamaha now is against him and this is something last year that was not like this.

“He’s doing really well, but for sure now the pressure is much higher, so let’s see.”

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Quartararo refuted this when Mir’s comments were put to him, noting that having all eyes from Yamaha on him will be nothing new given he already had this during the Austrian GP weekend when teammate Maverick Vinales was suspended.

The French rider believes Mir only said this as a “strategy” to put pressure onto him, but insists it hasn’t worked.

“That makes no change for me, that race [Austrian GP] I had all the weight of Yamaha on my shoulders and it didn’t change nothing in the race,” Quartararo responded.

“So, I think that’s a small strategy to try to put pressure on me.

“But it’s not affecting me, and I think it’s a funny game, but I will be there to fight for victory at Silverstone. “

Mir admitting after the Austrian GP that he reckon he will need to win at least two races in the final part of the championship if is to have any hope of retaining his title.

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