One podium from the opening four races might not sound too impressive for a reigning MotoGP champion, but Joan Mir insists all is going very much to plan.

"I think we are doing a super-clever start to the season," said the Suzuki star, currently fourth in the world championship, 17 points behind Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia.

"We are one of the main contenders at the moment to fight for the championship. I am exactly in the position I wanted to be I think. It’s true that it could be better and we could be a bit more competitive to fight for the podium in Jerez. In Qatar the same. But anyway we are strong.

"I am happy about the start of the season that we did. I want to start with calm and increase the speed and the intensity."

Mir heads into round five at Le Mans this weekend a massive ten places higher in the standings than at the same stage of last season, when he also had one podium but also suffered two DNFs.


Just ahead of Mir in the current standings is Maverick Vinales, winner at the Qatar season-opener but absent from the podium ever since. The Monster Yamaha rider also insists things are going largely to plan.

"I feel really good, honestly. I felt that we started the championship well. The good thing is that we understand our weak point and it's something we need to work on. So we have all the season to work pretty hard," Vinales said.

"We know we have very good points on the bike and basically I feel the bike is much more competitive on track, so this makes you much more relaxed.

"Basically, I just feel much better than the other years, I think we are in a better position, and we just need to keep confidence and we need to keep thinking in a positive way, and for sure we need to keep believing that we can do it."

Vinales was fastest in the Jerez post-race test and Mir third as both worked on improving the front-end feeling from their machines after problems overtaking in the Spanish race.



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