Joan Mir took his third MotoGP podium of the 2021 season today at Assen, but believes Suzuki must make gains during the summer break. 

The 2020 world champion once again came from a fourth row start to claim a podium - a theme of the last year or so as qualifying remains a key issue. 

What’s alarming for the team is that Mir is only 1-2 tenths quicker with a new soft rear tyre and low fuel compared to having a full fuel tank in race situations. It’s a margin that should be yielding at least 4-5 tenths more which would then solve all their qualifying woes. 

If Mir is to make a late run at this year’s title, this is one of the key areas he believes needs to be improved, along with the rear holeshot device - currently the only team not to possess both the front and rear versions. 

Mir said: "First, we must work on the device because there are a lot of track where this device can make a huge difference. 

"This is the first thing that we must do. Then to work a little bit on the details of the bike that always make the difference. 

"By my part I have to continue to understand, we have to understand with the team what we need to be stronger on qualifying to make a good lap time. 

"Always the (race) pace that I’m able to do is not far from the lap that I do in qualifying -  almost pushing like an animal." 

Mir's last podium before today was three rounds ago at Mugello and it’s one that can provide the ‘extra energy boost’ needed, as riders and teams head into a five week summer break.

"It’s an important podium for me, for Suzuki! I think it’s an extra boost of energy to try to be better on the second part of the season," said Mir. 

"Like this with this package it’s probably not enough to fight for the title, so we must work on it, work on the bike, work on myself, and always to improve more. 

"But yeah, I’m so happy about the race overall, because we couldn’t expect much more. These two guys (Quartararo and Vinales) were really, really fast all weekend, they rode the bike in a really good level and it was really difficult for me to be close to them. 

"I did what I had to do on the first laps. Always it’s difficult to overtake. It’s difficult to overtake the Hondas and the Ducatis, it’s always a nightmare. But I try to do my maximum and to make clever overtakes."