Joan Mir says he won’t consider himself a contender for the 2020 MotoGP World Championship until he notches up his maiden victory, though he  admits he is performing better in his second season than he had anticipated.

Though the broad openness of the 2020 MotoGP season over the first seven rounds means there are still several riders well in range of current leader Andrea Dovizioso, it is the stealthy emergence of Mir in recent rounds that has captured the attention of many.

Two DNFs aside, Mir has finished each of the other five races inside the top five and is the only rider to have established some consistency recently, with podiums in three of the last four events.

As such, he sits just four points adrift off the overall lead on a Suzuki both Dovizioso and Fabio Quartararo have championed as being arguably the best on the grid right now in race trim.

For Mir though, he is playing down his burgeoning title credentials because he has yet to stand on the top step.

“I don’t feel like a title contender because I haven’t won any races,” he said. “I am fully focused to win my first race because to win a championship I think you have to win races, so it is important to win and then think about the championship. It’s true our consistency is high and this is good but I’m missing the wins.

Arriving at the Catalunya MotoGP - the third of seven MotoGP races to be held on his home Spanish soil this season - Mir admits his sophomore campaign is exceeding his expectations.

“[I didn’t expect to be ] in this position,” he continued. “I expected to be fighting for the podiums but the speed I have at the moment that I didn’t expect when we started the season. Probably top five was realistic but we are a bit in front, it’s better than I expected.”

In a year that has seen even leader Dovizioso’s form fluctuate wildly, Mir is hopeful his recent consistency is the catalyst he needs to keep pushing Suzuki forward.

“I think this season the focus has to be on 100% consistency and I think every one of us at the beginning of the season knew that but we were unable to do it. 

“But now we find this consistency so I am really happy for that in the last four races and we have a lot of races in front of us. Here in Barcelona could be a good chance to continue doing that.”