Joan Mir: ‘Wow, what a shame. I don’t understand Suzuki’s decision’

2020 world champion Joan Mir remains mystified by Suzuki’s decision to quit MotoGP, after the team’s victorious farewell at Valencia on Sunday.
Alex Rins Joan Mir MotoGP race, Valencia MotoGP. 6 November
Alex Rins Joan Mir MotoGP race, Valencia MotoGP. 6 November

While team-mate Alex Rins sensationally led the season finale from start to finish, Mir overcame electronic problems - causing his GSX-RR to believe it was elsewhere on the track - as he battled from twelfth to sixth.

“Congratulations to the team,” Mir said. “It's emotional to finish the last race with Suzuki. I feel in Japan, they will probably regret [their decision]. But if they took this decision, it was for a big reason.

“Anyway, I want to thank Suzuki for everything they did for me and thanks to the super team that I had around me.”

Asked what the Suzuki board in Hamamatsu will be thinking after seeing the GSX-RR win two of the last three races, Mir replied: “Wow, what a shame. What a shame.

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“It's a really good way to finish this era [with victories but] they will – I don't know if regret is the right word - but for me, even if they want to invest in other things, I think no publicity campaign can give you what we gave them here in MotoGP, with a beautiful bike, a beautiful team.

“So I don't really understand why they took this decision. They will have their reasons… but I don't understand, honestly.”

That feeling of throwing something special away meant Mir wasn’t in the mood to celebrate as he rode back to the Suzuki pits for the final time.

Joan Mir, MotoGP, Valencia MotoGP, 4 November
Joan Mir, MotoGP, Valencia MotoGP, 4 November

“I don't know if you saw. I didn't celebrate it. I didn't want to celebrate this last race with Suzuki. Because for me, it's not a happy day,” Mir explained. “We will not work together as a team again, and this makes me sad.”

The Spaniard, who like Rins intended to remain at Suzuki for 2023 before finding an alternative seat at Honda, added that the shock of Suzuki’s exit had damaged his season.

“This affected me probably more than I expected,” said Mir, whose mid-season slump was compounded by ankle injuries in Austria. “But this is racing and this is my professional life, so I need to learn to try to manage this type of [difficult] situation in a better way.

“It's like when everything is OK and I feel just the pressure of the championship, I grow up. But then, in difficult moments when the motivation is less, I probably go a bit more down than I should. So this is something I need to learn from.”

Mir scored 56 of his eventual 87 points for the entire season in the opening six races.

"I'm disappointed about my season in general because we always had problems, bad luck and some mistakes on my part. But happy that this is over, and we start a new challenge on Tuesday," Mir said.

Joan Mir, MotoGP race, Valencia MotoGP, 6 November
Joan Mir, MotoGP race, Valencia MotoGP, 6 November

Mir: We will never know what would have happened

Mir and Marquez will be among four premier-class champions on next year’s grid alongside Fabio Quartararo (2021) and newly crowned 2022 world champion Francesco Bagnaia.

“They both made a great season,” Mir said of the Quartararo-Bagnaia title fight. “Pecco made mistakes in the first part of the season, then a bit in the second part, but he showed he was always the fastest.

“And in the case of Fabio, he started really good, but then he lost a bit the way in the last part of the season.

“From the outside, it has been a really nice season, [but] we will never know what would have happened if Suzuki didn't decide to stop.

"That will stay inside of me, because in some races we struggled, but in others our bike was competitive.”

Rins and Mir had been fourth and sixth in the world championship when Suzuki announced its shock exit decision, just after round 6 at Jerez.

Between them, in fifth, was eventual champion Bagnaia.

Rins and Mir, who eventually finished 7th and 15th in the standings after returning from mid-season injuries, will make their Honda MotoGP debuts at Tuesday's post-race test.

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