Joan Mir says that last year's huge Brno accident has given him a better perspective of the important things in life, as MotoGP remains on due to the coronavirus.

The Czech Republic testing accident, caused by a technical problem, left the 21-year-old rookie with lung injuries and out of action for the next two rounds.

But while motorcycle riders are constantly aware of the risks they take, the coronavirus pandemic has caught the world off-guard.

"I am extremely surprised by the evolution of the virus around the world and all the damage it is causing to thousands of families," Mir said. "Honestly speaking, it is sad and a big shame what we are all going through. All we can do is stay strong and be united.

“We have to be very clear that health is more important than anything else. I also have recent experience from the accident last year in Brno that taught me a lot and showed me how much value being healthy has, because without health we have nothing.

"It is more important than fame, money or any other secondary things. In the end, it’s a sport, it's a show, and that's it. But health and family are essential things in anyone's life.”

Despite some lingering breathing difficulties from the Brno accident, Mir finished outside the top ten just once in the last seven races, including a career-best of fifth place at Phillip Island.

Although Mir comfortably got the better of reigning Moto2 champion Francesco Bagnaia in last year's championship standings, both were blown away by the achievements of fellow rookie Fabio Quartararo.

But if pre-season testing form is anything to go by, the Suzuki star looks set to challenge the Frenchman much more closely this year, not to mention putting team-mate and double race winner Alex Rins under pressure.

However, exactly when the MotoGP grid will assemble in 2020 remains unclear.

“To be honest, I really wanted to race in Qatar," Mir admitted of the opening round cancellation. "It was not easy when I first heard the news, because I was very focused on the start of the season.

"It is difficult to manage your head when you are suddenly told that you can’t do the thing you love most in life. But then you quickly realise the severity of the situation and you calm down."

At present, Jerez on May 3 remains the new start date for the 2020 MotoGP season, but with no sign of the coronavirus abating in Europe, June or July currently looks more likely.

“I try not to think too much about the changes to the calendar," Mir said. "Nothing is decided yet, things seem to change from one day to the next, and the evolution of the virus seems to be getting worse.

"I know that Dorna is doing a great job, I trust their management of the situation, and hopefully this will be over as soon as possible and we can resume our normal life and get back on the bikes and back on track!”

When racing does eventually begin, as many races as possible are set to be squeezed into a short space of time.

"Well, it will be a tough end to the season and we will have to make the most of each race, with little time to rest in between, and it will be especially tough from a mental point of view," Mir explained.

"Physically we can manage everything, but mentally it will put us all to the test. But as I mentioned, sport is secondary and the first thing to focus on is our health.”

While the wait goes on, Mir can only do his best to stay in shape with various off-bike training.

"Well, sincerely it is complicated because the bike is what drives me crazy! I just love it," he said of not training on two-wheels. "[But] I feel that we must set an example for everyone and stay at home for the sake of us all.

“I'm still training hard and working on my physique. It is also an opportunity to improve my physical and mental capacity and take time to work on that.

"Apart from that I watch movies and series on Netflix and take a bit more time to be relaxed and chill out."

And finally, a message to the MotoGP fans:

“I would like you not to despair! We are all going through difficult times and right now the most important thing is to fight and contain the virus, and once this happens we will give full gas again and we can all enjoy motorcycling like never before!”

Suzuki is yet to officially announce any rider signings for 2021 but is thought to have an option to retain both Rins and Mir, which the factory looks set to take up.

 

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