Joan Mir has reiterated the importance for him to reach the top step of the MotoGP World Championship podium first before he dwells on the prospect of a title win, admitting an improvement in qualifying will be key for him to make that breakthrough.

The Suzuki rider has made stealthy progress in recent races, his sheer consistency - four podiums in the last five races - during a year of unpredictability, allowing him to ascend the overall standings to only be eight points behind Fabio Quartararo with six races remaining.

His position has been achieved despite failing to record his maiden MotoGP victory, though somewhat ironically the only one of those five races he didn’t stand on the podium in Styria he’d have likely won had a mid-race stoppage not hampered him

For him, the title can only be won if he wins races, so for now he continues to rebuff the prospect of him winning a crown in 2020..

“We are really close, so you think that, but to win the World Championship you need to win races. At the moment we are really competitive and constant and fast, the victory is close but we don’t have any. 

“I am focused on my first victory but first we need to score points, it is important to continue in this line. Just focus on the victory.”

As to why he hasn’t broken his duck yet, it is the Suzuki’s difficulty in getting tyres up to optimum working performance, both on a quick lap in qualifying and the early stages of a race, that takes its toll, though the flip side is the GSX-RR is often the quickest bike in the crucial final laps.

Either way, Mir accepts a solution needs to be found to improve a qualifying record that stands at 10-10-9-6-3-8-11-8 for 2020 so far.

“I think the key to win races can be to start in the first two rows. It is something we have a margin to improve in that area, for sure it is difficult to find the solution because it is not our strongest point, but I am confident that the team will find a solution. Not to fight for pole positions but I would be happy to start on the first two rows.”



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