Joan Mir jump start, crashes out as Quartararo takes over MotoGP crown

A race to forget for 2020 MotoGP champion Joan Mir while Fabio Quartararo officially takes over his title; 'Of course I'm sad, but he completely deserved it'
Joan Mir, Emilia-Romagna MotoGP, 23 October 2021
Joan Mir, Emilia-Romagna MotoGP, 23 October 2021
© Gold and Goose

Joan Mir's hopes of a MotoGP title defence were already mathematically over before Sunday's Emilia Romagna event, when he only completed two laps of a race that saw Fabio Quartararo officially crowned as this year's world champion.

Like the other Inline-4 powered machine from Yamaha, Suzuki's GSX-RR seems to struggle during the transition from fully wet to dry conditions, as seen in qualifying, leaving Mir to start just 18th on the grid.

Things then went rapidly downhill when he jumped the start, but before he could even serve the double long-lap penalty he crashed and took out Danilo Petrucci on lap 3 of 27.

"I had a jump start penalty because I had doubts about whether I had set the launch control or not and when I tried to check, I moved a little bit and obviously that counts as a jump start so I had to take a penalty," Mir said.

"There's a lot of things to do [before the start], with the front [device], the rear [device], the launch control, it's always a little bit difficult to manage all the situation. And also to start in 18th position!

"I have to say that starting in 18th position, MotoGP is very different, it's another race. Because all the riders are closing lines and it's crazy! It's what it is when you start 18th. You have a lot of riders in front, a lot of confusion, and that's it.

"Then I made a mistake with the crash and I feel I should’ve managed the race situation better. I just want to apologise to the team, because in the race, it was completely my mistakes.

"I'm not happy. But we have to look back at the weekend a bit and understand why we were in 18th position. Understanding this reason is the first thing, also because we showed great potential in the wet. So quite frustrating.

"After a great middle of the season, doing [the best] with what we had, then it looks like in the last two races I was not able to ride in the way that I could.

"Here in Misano, I'm really happy about the step that I did in wet conditions. I was always competitive. But the problem was that when the track was getting dry, we had a lot of trouble. Not only myself, but Alex [Rins].

"So that's a bit the problem, and what we have to understand because we don't know in Portimão the weather, we don't know in Valencia.

"But the important thing today is that I want to congratulate Fabio. Of course I'm sad because I couldn't make [the title] this year, but he completely deserved it, and was the best this season by far.

"So congratulations to him, to Yamaha, and to all the team."

Team-mate Alex Rins rode a steady race from 13th on the grid to sixth. The Spaniard was also quick to congratulate Quartararo on his achievement.

“First of all, congrats to Fabio, he had an amazing year and today he took the title," Rins said. "From my side, I gave 100% in this race, but with the fresh tyres I was struggling to catch the guys in front of me.

"I was a long way back, but I kept fighting to improve my position and I was able to make some good passes. I got sixth, which is not too bad, especially as I didn’t finish here last time out. Next we’ll move to Portimão where I hope to do better.”

Mir will start the final two rounds holding third in the world championship, 27 points behind factory Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia and 23 ahead of Pramac's Johann Zarco.

Rins, who has six non-scores compared with two for Mir, sits eleventh in the standings, just one point behind KTM's Miguel Oliveira.

Suzuki is yet to win a race this season.

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