Injuries and the Covid pandemic have combined to create the 'strange and interesting' situation where reigning MotoGP champion Joan Mir is yet to race in the premier-class at Silverstone.

In fact, Mir hasn't raced at Silverstone since his title-winning 2017 Moto3 campaign!

Race day at the 2018 British round, when Mir was competing in Moto2, was cancelled due to drainage issues.

Moving to the premier-class with Suzuki the following year, Mir was forced to miss Silverstone due to lung injuries at Brno.

The 2020 event was then cancelled due to Covid restrictions, meaning Mir will be riding his first GSX-RR laps at the Northamptonshire track on Friday morning.

"Silverstone will be strange and interesting for me because I’ve never ridden here on a MotoGP bike, so it’s been a long time since I’ve attacked the track - I’ll need to keep practicing on the PlayStation!” said Mir.

Although yet to win a race this season, Mir has now moved into joint second in the world championship with Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia, albeit both 47 points from Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha).

“Every race this year is tougher because everybody is so competitive, the bikes are pretty equally matched, so it means that we are fighting harder to reach our goals," said Mir. But as we’ve shown, even at tracks which don’t really suit our bike, like Austria, we’ve achieved good things.

“The GP is a great party for the British fans and also for the riders, as it is great to feel them so close. This is a circuit that I really like, although I haven't had the chance to ride a MotoGP bike there yet.

"I hope I can quickly adapt myself to the track and be able to fight again for podium positions. It will not be an easy race, but I hope I can fight for the win.”

While Mir has no previous MotoGP experience to count on, Suzuki has an impressive recent Silverstone record.

Maverick Vinales took the GSX-RR's first MotoGP win at the fast and flowing circuit in 2016, with Alex Rins then snatching a brilliant last corner victory over Marc Marquez in the 2019 event.

“I hope I can get a really good result here, but it will be difficult because all the bikes are very close on performance," said Rins, currently just 13th in the world championship after an earlier string of DNFs and also yet to finish on the podium this season.

"But anyway I feel that our GSX-RR suits this track well and I really like riding here, so hopefully that will give us a little advantage.

"The memories from here in 2019 are still so fresh in my mind; it was incredible to win like that after a battle with Marc, and the celebrations with my team were fantastic. My crew have been working really hard this year and I would like to give them another good reason to celebrate!”

Silverstone will be the second circuit, after Austria, where the Suzuki riders have access to a rear ride-height system to aid with race starts and hard acceleration.

Although effective from its first laps at the Red Bull Ring, the system was unsurprisingly still in need of some fine tuning.

"We have some pumping. Again it's normal, no? It's the first prototype of the device and it's not 100% working perfectly let's say," confirmed Mir, referring to the rear of the bike oscillating up and down.

"There's much more to do to be at the same level as the other devices. But the first step is a lot better than without. So we will try to improve more."