Joan Mir became the third rider in two races to climb aboard the MotoGP podium for the first time with a starring performance for Suzuki in the Austrian MotoGP.

The Spaniard has shown flashes of potential in pre-season testing and the opening rounds this year but has lacked consistency with disappointing qualifying performances and two crashes in three races holding him back.

However, sixth in qualifying gave him a fighting shot during the first portion of the race and was running third when it was red flagged, giving him a front row start for the second getaway.

Getting involved in a Ducati vs. Suzuki battle as Alex Rins joined the fray, Mir took up the fight when his team-mate slid out of contention, pressuring Miller all the way until he ran wide at the penultimate corner to slip through into second.

A big result for Mir in only his second season of MotoGP, he says it shows just how important qualifying is to coming good on his evident race pace.

“The bike works really well here, FP1 felt good here in Austria and when you start with a good base then it is easier to approach a little bit the weekend. Happy about the race, it was a hard one fighting with these guys, it’s difficult in sectors 1 and 2 but then our bike is competitive, so this is a good podium for me.

“[Improving the qualifying] made the difference this weekend then the start was good, these are my weak points. Normally we have good race pace but where we struggle it is then difficult to recover positions.

“The incident in the first race, it’s not easy to put the helmet on again but it is the same for everybody. We are happy that no-one is seriously injured.”

 

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