‘Big mess’: The electronics glitch that marred Joan Mir’s Suzuki farewell

While Alex Rins was celebrating a perfect end to Suzuki’s MotoGP presence with victory in the Valencia finale, team-mate Joan Mir’s time on the GSX-RR came to a more complicated end.
Joan Mir, MotoGP, Valencia MotoGP, 4 November
Joan Mir, MotoGP, Valencia MotoGP, 4 November

After being overly cautious while passing soon-to-be champion Francesco Bagnaia, Suzuki’s 2020 title winner was up to fifth place as the closing stages began.

When Mir’s name began jumping around the timing screens it was thought to be simply a transponder issue.

In fact, it was more serious, with his GSX-RR’s corner-by-corner electronic set-up - covering areas such as power delivery, traction control and engine braking - also becoming out of sync with the racetrack.

“In the last three laps the electronics of the bike were completely gone,” Mir explained. “For example, in the [fast] first corner, when I was closing the throttle, there was a lot of engine brake [as if it was a slow corner].

“Then in some corners I was without traction control, in others there was too much. So I think it was mixing the setups of the different corners and it was a big mess.”

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Mir admitted there was a heightened risk of repeating his huge Austrian highside, rumoured to have been due to a technical issue and which caused him to miss four races with ankle injuries.

“That's why it was a bit dangerous,” he said. “But when everything is spinning so much at the end of the race [anyway], you don't open [the throttle] like an animal. You always control it more.

“But I lost one position for that reason, and I lost a bit the pace, which was pretty good at that moment. So again, a bit of bad luck. But we managed to finish the [final] race.”

Francesco Bagnaia MotoGP race, Valencia MotoGP. 6 November
Francesco Bagnaia MotoGP race, Valencia MotoGP. 6 November

'I would not want anyone to make crazy manoeuvres'

Reflecting on his tense mid-race Bagnaia pass, Mir recalled his own nerves when he wrapped up the 2020 crown at the same track.

“If I was in his position, I would not want anyone to make crazy manoeuvres on me,” he said. “So I lost probably three or four laps.

“It was a bit of a challenge to overtake him, because his acceleration is really good, and then he was stopping the bike a lot in the corners, so I was not able to make the corner speed.

“The only way to overtake him [quickly] was with an aggressive manoeuvre, that didn't make sense. I'm 15th in the championship, so it didn't matter if I lost three seconds.

“Maybe I would have been closer to the top guys, but at the end I had the problem with the electronics anyway.”

Eventually finishing 7.7s from victory, Mir was also just over six-seconds from his final chance to avoid a podium-less 2022 campaign.

Mir joins Rins in moving to Honda next season, the pair being 18th and 20th respectively on their RC213V debuts at the Valencia post-race test.

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