Reigning champion Mir "very pissed off" after Qatar practice

Reigning MotoGP world champion Joan Mir admits he is “very pissed off” following Friday practice for the Qatar Grand Prix having missed a provisional Q2 place.

Reigning champion Mir "very pissed off" after Qatar practice

The Suzuki rider admitted after pre-season testing that he started the season only “70 percent” ready having lost a vital day of work on the 2021 GSX-RR chassis to poor weather conditions (with Mir confirming on Friday he is using the 2020 frame).

Mir began today fifth fastest, but faded to outside of the Q2 spots in 11th in FP2, missing the top 10 by just 0.013 seconds. With conditions for FP3 unlikely to allow for lap time improvements on the combined order, Mir is facing Q1 in his first qualifying session as defending MotoGP champion.

“The truth is I am very pissed off today, being champion now on track is worth nothing,” Mir fumed. “I am calm because it is only the first day, it will be difficult to go [faster] in FP3 because it is very hot.

“If we have to go through Q1, we will go through it. What’s reassuring is that in terms of pace, I’m amongst the best. There were a few small things missing to improve, but I think we have the speed. It’s fixable.”

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Teammate Alex Rins was fifth at the end of FP2, hinting at an improvement being made in the Suzuki’s qualifying form – a key weakness in 2020, when Mir became the first world champion since Wayne Rainey in 1992 not to score a pole position.

Mir doesn’t feel Suzuki has to be able to fight for pole on Saturday, but insists it has to be on the front two rows.

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“Alex had a good FP2, there's no need for anyone to show me how the Suzuki is doing,” he said. “We have a lot of room for improvement with this bike and it's true that it's important that we both give 100 percent and he had a good FP2.

“We have to keep working and improve our weak points. I'm not saying to fight for pole positions, which is quite difficult for us, but to be on the second row and be around there.

"With used tyres, we have a pace of 1m54.6s and 1m54.7s and we are not even a second slower with new tyres, which means there is still room for improvement".

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