Asked ahead of this weekend's second Misano MotoGP round, Fabio Quartararo was asked if he was worried about the Suzukis, given their podium form at such different tracks as Red Bull Ring and Misano:

"Yes I'm worried! Because they are fast in the straight. They are fast in acceleration. To overtake people they are so fast, easy," Quartararo replied.

"So yes, I'm worried because both riders are really fast. Mir is in full confidence, so it's not easy for us because we are struggling in this area and I think right now, overall, the bike [Suzuki] is the perfect bike.

"The overall combination of the chassis, engine, power - I think it's really great. So yes, how much I don't know, but I'm a little bit worried about this bike."

Told of Quartararo's comments, Joan Mir joked: "I didn't know that Fabio tried my bike! Probably yesterday or this morning he tried my bike and I didn't realise? It's nice to hear that someone knows my bike better than me!

"What can I say? Of course, the bike of other people is better than the one you are using. But at the moment, the one on pole and winner of the last race was a Yamaha."

Nonetheless, Mir has overcome two DNFs to reach fourth in the world championship and has now scored more points (49) than any other rider in the last three rounds.

"Yes, I feel ready [to fight for the title]," Mir said. "We have a great package. I feel good with the bike. I think we are at a good level. I'm ready to fight with these guys for sure.

"I'm now at the best level that I've had in my life," he added. "I'm getting the results in an easier way while pushing the same as last year. It looks like everything is a bit easier for me. I'm able to be fast in all sessions. Not only one track.

"I want to keep this consistency, to see if at the end of the championship we can be there to fight for the championship. But for sure first of all we need to win races if we want to win the championship."

Indeed, despite Suzuki's impressive form at the four tracks so far this season, it is yet to join Yamaha, KTM and Ducati in winning a 2020 race.

What will it take for Mir to go two places better than last Sunday at Misano this weekend?

"Well, we just need something in qualifying," he said. "Always a new tyre is a 'good challenge' for us. Then also the first laps of the race will be the key. But more than the first laps, it's the qualifying. Because in the last race we were not really good in the first part of the race, but if we start more in front we will hide a bit this problem."

Team-mate Alex Rins, who took two Suzuki victories last year but dislocated his shoulder at the Jerez season opener, is currently twelfth in the world championship with a best finish of fourth.

"Our bike is quite complete," Rins replied when quizzed on the 'perfect' comment. "It's still missing things, like all the bikes. For sure we need to keep improving the bike, for example to be faster in one lap, to be faster on the straight.

"I'm feeling quite good with my bike [but] for sure when I am following some Ducati riders, or other bikes, I can see something about those bikes, but I'm happy with my bike."

Quartararo, winner of the opening pair of Jerez races, is now second in the standings behind Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso.

 

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