Having swept to the MotoGP title with podiums in six of the last nine rounds, Joan Mir probably expected more than one rostrum from the opening four races of this season.

But the Suzuki star only lost out on another rostrum by just 0.093s in Qatar and, compared to this time last season, is a massive 38 points and ten places better off for fourth place in the current world championship standings.

Project Leader & Team Director Shinichi Sahara admitted Suzuki " suffered a bit" last time out at Jerez, where Mir finished in fifth and team-mate Alex Rins fell.

However, the post-race test was much more impressive, with Rins second and Mir third behind only Yamaha's Maverick Vinales on the final timesheets.

"We had a test day in Jerez on Monday after the race and that was very positive," Sahara said. "We worked on many areas and found a lot of useful information that we hope to use in the coming races.

"Now we’re in Le Mans and we’re ready to try again to get good results for both our riders. The weather here is always quite mixed and it often rains, so we will have to take that into account too!”

“I enjoyed the test in Jerez, and I’m ready to take another step here in Le Mans," confirmed Mir, who focused on the front-end feeling of his GSX-RR after struggling to overtake in the Spanish race.

"We may struggle a bit on this layout as on paper our bike struggles at ‘stop & go’ circuits, and also because the weather can make everything tougher. But obviously we want to get a strong finish and as many points as possible, so I’m looking forward to getting back on my bike and giving my best.”

Rins had a shorter test day than most as he headed for shoulder scans after a free practice fall.

“After the crash in Jerez I felt that my shoulder was a bit sore, it’s the same one that I injured last year so naturally I was a little bit concerned. I rode in the morning at the Jerez Test but I finished early so that I could go home and get my shoulder checked," said Rins, ninth in the world championship after non-scores at the last two rounds.

"There’s been no further damage found, so I have just been undergoing some treatments to ease it ahead of Le Mans. This is a circuit that can be unpredictable, but I’m looking forward to riding again and I want to bring my team a nice finish.”

Mir was eleventh while Rins fell in last October's wet Le Mans race.

Suzuki revealed that, together with Phillip Island, Le Mans is the circuit where riders spend the least amount of time at full throttle; for only 16% of the total race.

 

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