"I was gutted for Mir because he was riding really strong. I tried to follow him for nine laps, but that was all I had. I was done. Unless he had tyre problems towards the end, he had that thing sorted."

Those were the words of Jack Miller after Sunday's Styrian MotoGP, which was stopped after 16 laps (due to brake failure for Maverick Vinales) while Joan Mir was leading.

Mir, runner-up the previous week, then lined-up on pole for the 12-lap restart, but his hopes of a debut MotoGP victory were doomed before the red lights even went out.

Unlike his main rivals, Mir did not have two new tyres (in his favoured medium compound) available for race two, and was thus forced to fit a used front.

But Mir and Suzuki's main frustration was that he then missed out on a podium by just 0.101s, after Pol Espargaro was allowed to retain third place despite running over the kerb and onto the green paint, during a final turn victory showdown with Miller.

While Miller and Espargaro battled, Tech3's Miguel Oliveira swept past them both for a debut victory.

"We can’t be happy with the final result which has been influenced by a decision, or a non-decision, by race direction," said Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio.

"The rules clearly state that any rider who exceeds track limits on the last lap must drop one position, especially if they gain from it; in our opinion without the green tarmac run-off Espargaro would've had to brake, being passed also by Joan. So he was able to defend his third position by going wide.

"Joan had this penalty himself at the beginning of race 1 when he had to drop one place for going wide, but the same thing hasn’t been applied on the last corner in race 2."

Mir had been forced to drop one place after running wide on the exit of turn one on the opening lap of the initial race start.

"In the first race I went wide onto the green, they penalised me and I agree. I gave one position back," Mir said. "If you penalise me then penalise the others. It doesn’t make sense.

"I’m really, really angry about the decision."

Mir did not agree with the argument that Espargaro had no choice but to run wide due to Miller's inside block pass.

"I agree about [no penalty] when another rider hits someone and he goes out of the track. But this was not the case," Mir explained.

"If you check the last two corners, Pol took the inside, then he went wide and Jack took the position. Then Pol decided to continue on the outside. Of course, he went wide.

"If you go into that [final] corner like this, with this speed, then of course you go out. We can see that when he touched the green he just opened full [throttle].

"So what would happen if it was gravel? It is green for our safety. But he was out a lot. It makes no sense that this is not penalised."

The Spaniard also compared the end of the MotoGP race, which saw no penalties for exceeding track limits, with the preceding Moto2 grand prix, where Jorge Martin lost victory for drifting onto the green paint on the exit of the last corner.

"You penalise Martin and you don’t penalise Pol? Martin did not win the race because he went on the green and he did not gain any advantage."

Mir made clear it was nothing personal against Pol, who "did a great job and an awesome race. But I am really surprised about Race Direction. Really surprised. And really angry."

KTM's Espargaro expressed sympathy for Mir in terms of the race one stoppage, having been in exactly the same situation one week earlier, when his restart hopes were also ruined by a lack of new tyres.

"Today I feel quite sorry for Joan Mir because something similar happened to me in the last race. He was so fast in the first race. He was impossible to follow with an amazing rhythm and going away of everyone," Espargaro said.

"Finally he could not go even to the podium, so it was a pity for him."

 

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