Joan Mir may have been bitterly disappointed not to at least claim back-to-back MotoGP podiums in Austria, but after five races he's seen enough to know that the GSX-RR is 'a contender for the title'.

Mir's debut premier-class rostrum at the first Austrian round was the only top 3 appearance by a Suzuki rider so far this season.

Indeed, Mir and team-mate Alex Rins are only ranked eighth and 13th respectively in the current world championship standings, with Suzuki fourth-best in the constructors' table.

But few believe those positions are an accurate reflection of the 2020 GSX-RR, not least because both Suzuki riders have already suffered two non-scores from the races so far.

Last year's double race winner Rins dislocated his shoulder during qualifying at the Jerez season-opener, then fell moments after taking the lead in Austria 1. Mir meanwhile made a mistake of his own in the Jerez race, then was taken down by Iker Lecuona in Brno.

After a breakthrough second place in the opening Red Bull Ring race, Mir was then leading confidently when the Styrian Grand Prix was stopped due to brake failure for Maverick Vinales.

With no new front tyre available for the restart, Mir went on to finish a frustrated fourth after Pol Espargaro escaped punishment for running wide at the final corner.

Nonetheless, Mir feels he has the tools available to bridge the current 26-point gap to Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) over the remaining nine rounds.

"We have a great bike," Mir said. "If we are fighting for the podium and the win in Austria, with a lot less horsepower than some other people, then this means we have a great bike with great balance.

"I am proud of my team and for sure Suzuki is a contender for the title."

Rins took sixth place last time out despite being held back by his healing shoulder and declared: "The bike actually felt great.

"My shoulder was a bit painful but now we have two weeks without a race so hopefully in Misano the pain will be less, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Putting aside his disappointment at missing out on another podium in Austria, team manager Davide Brivio said: "This is the third track in a row where we've been highly competitive.

"We have big potential with the GSX-RR and also with both riders."

The five race wins so far this season have been divided; two for Yamaha, two for KTM, one for Ducati.

Suzuki's most recent premier-class title was with Kenny Roberts Jr in 2000, during the 500cc era.

Which machine do you think has the best overall package from the races seen so far this season? Leave your comments below...

 

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