Suzuki rider Joan Mir has claimed his first ever MotoGP front row after finishing third during qualifying at Portimao. 

Qualifying has been a well documented issue for Suzuki and Mir, even in his title winning season last year. 

However, after taking his first week away from any type of motorcycle riding following Misano, Mir has been rejuvenated throughout this weekend’s Portimao MotoGP.

Whether it’s one lap pace or race pace - the latter usually being a big strength for the Suzuki rider, Mir has looked in contention for more than just a podium at the Algarve circuit.

While winless so far this season, Mir’s first front row as a MotoGP rider is certainly a big step forward and one he believes will give him less to do during tomorrow’s Grand Prix.  

Speaking after qualifying, Mir said: "Normally starting in the third row it is difficult to do something more than a podium. It’s what happened during the year. We achieved the podium but we cannot fight for more for the victory. 

"Maybe starting in the first row it will help to be more in front and have the situation a little bit more under control. 

"But yeah, Pecco [Bagnaia] is strong, as are the other Ducati guys, so it will be interesting tomorrow. The tyre choice will be important."

Despite his front row success, Mir was left fuming at the end of qualifying after an encounter with Alex Marquez

The Honda rider made a move down the inside heading into turn one as they began their last lap, before running wide and cutting his final effort short.  

When asked what happened, Mir added: "Well, Alex was following me I think until FP3 in all the sessions, also FP4 and the first exit in qualifying and the second one he was waiting again. 

"For me, if he don’t disturb me then it’s not a problem, but in that moment I made the first lap quite slow to warm up the tyres; the lap time was not bad, but I was warming the tyres and I had just one lap left but then he decided to overtake me on the braking and went wide. 

"That’s why I was angry. Alex [Marquez] came to the box to apologise which is something I appreciate. 

"But well, at that moment I was not happy because I could not get the 100% from the package today. 

"When you are not able to get the 100% I’m always angry - even if I’m on the first row. Now we have to keep this consistency."