Joan Mir: “The pressure of being champion could play in my favour” 

Just 72 hours after the end of the MotoGP season, the brand-new champion, Joan Mir (Suzuki) has given a press conference in Madrid. During the event, the successor of Marc Marquez has looked back at a season where his wildest dreams have come true. 

The pilot from Mallorca has admitted he didn’t even think of himself as a candidate for the crown. Still, his superior consistency over that of his rivals and the great results achieved in the decisive stretch of the championship, had him snatching the title at the penultimate round of the year in Valencia. 

Nobody thought of Mir as one of the favourites 

“I have done the talking on the track, but it is true that I would not have thought of myself as one of the favourites either, rather among the top five considering our potential. My rivals, nonetheless, did not trust me as much as I trusted myself. If everyone had thought of me as a favourite it wouldn’t have been so satisfying in the end. Next year they will think about it twice before writing up the odds” – Commented an amused #36 

The initial goal: To finish in the top five  

“At the preseason tests I felt strong and I realized that I could fight to be in the top-5 at every race. That was the goal for the year. From Jerez onwards, we had some bad results, mainly due to bad luck. In Austria, however, I started to get comfortable with the bike and was very competitive on a track where Suzuki was not a favourite. The first podium arrived and then I was looking forward to seeing what was going to happen in Misano. I became competitive again so then I thought that maybe we could finish in the top 3”. 

A bitter race as World Champion in Portugal 

“We were very unlucky at the weekend in Portugal. It was very unusual to have issues with the bike for two days in a row. At the race I tried to recover, I tried everything in the first two laps, and after touching Pecco I went to apologize because I did what I have always criticized. I’m sorry. Also, I broke a part of the bike that made it not work properly, so it was impossible for me to fulfil its potential. That incident has not taken away the good taste in my mouth left by the year as a whole. The season has been incredible but the team must not forget about what happened in Portugal”. 

Marc, 2021 favourite among a large group of pilots 

“The first of all (rivals) is Marc, but I hope it is not like this year with 6 to 10 direct rivals. I hope there are not so many. My teammate (Rins) is fast, I see Maverick, Fabio, a Ducati will be out there, and the KTMs have shown great potential, it is difficult to pick one and I would not want to overlook someone that later might go on and win as they did with me”. 

The responsibility of defending the title 

“On the one hand, being champion takes the pressure off of you because you’ve already achieved it, but on the other, it puts it on as you become one of the favourites. I don’t know how I’m going to handle it; I’ve never experienced defending a title. I don’t know how I will react; we will see, but the pressure does not scare me, in fact, it pushes me to perform better and to achieve better results. I think that in theory, it can play in my favour”. 

Undecided about wearing #1 or #36 

“I already Suzuki’s opinion on the matter. I know they would like me to wear number 1 because it would be a privilege. I have not decided yet, but I prefer the #1 more than the #36, although with the #36 I have achieved these two titles and it is the one with which I started. And the truth is, it has brought me good luck”. 

Images of Joan Mir: Estrella Galicial 0,0.

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