Suzuki's struggles continue as Joan Mir says 'nothing positive about FP2'

After failing to capitalise on its race winning potential in Qatar, day-one of the Mandalika MotoGP was another difficult day for the Japanese manufacturer as Joan Mir could only manage 20th place.
Joan Mir, Indonesian MotoGP, 18 March 2022
Joan Mir, Indonesian MotoGP, 18 March 2022
© Gold and Goose

Had someone told you Pol Espargaro, Francesco Bagnaia, Joan Mir and Marc Marquez were together on the timingsheets, then it’s fair to assume a battle for top spot took place. 

It was far from that…

All four riders were well down the pecking order as Espargaro led the quartet in P19, which came after topping FP1 at the new Mandalika Street Circuit.

While Mir’s team-mate Alex Rins managed tenth on his final effort of FP2, a lap that could be crucial in regards to advancing directly through to qualifying two should it rain in FP3, the 2020 world champion was not as fortunate as yellow flags hindered the Suzuki rider’s efforts.  

It wasn’t just yellow flags that proved challenging as Mir suffered from mechanical issues earlier on in the session, which is a large reason as to why he was running last. 

Mir said: "Honestly, FP2 was tough. We had some mechanical issues and also some problems with the front brake. It was not the best FP2. 

"Then with the soft tyre I was not able to improve the lap time due to the yellow flag. 

"Every time I was getting faster there was a yellow flag on track and I had to slow down. There was nothing positive about this FP2. Not much to say."

Asked if it was a similar mechanical issue as the one he encountered during pre-season testing, Mir added: "No, the mechanical issues were a different thing. The first exit was something different that I cannot speak about. 

"About the rear medium (tyre), it’s difficult to make that tyre work for us. I was not able to make a lot of laps due to these problems. 

"I think this tyre is getting better and better if you do a lot of laps, so this was not so positive today. 

"The good thing is that when we put the soft tyre the feeling immediately came back, even with those problems. I think there’s a big room for improvement."

While it was a tough day on several fronts for the former Moto3 world champion, there were positives in the form of the newly-applied asphalt according to Mir, particularly when following another rider as stones weren’t getting flicked back towards him as was the case in testing. 

"The stones that were coming up during the test; I was not able to feel," claimed Mir. "When I was behind on the first exit in FP2 I was feeling small stones but not as big as the ones on the test. 

"For me the track is rideable and we will be able to make the race. The grip between the new part and the other one changed a bit because whenever the asphalt is new like today the grip is a little bit less. 

"But this is getting a little bit better every time. I think this is normal."

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