Joan Mir Interview, Part 2: "This Sport Is 50% Rider, 50% Bike"

Joan Mir in the garage at Phillip Island, 2019

In part one of Akira Nishimura's interview with Joan Mir, the Ecstar Suzuki rider spoke about adapting to MotoGP, what he learned from his teammate Alex Rins, and where they need to improve for 2020. In the second half of the interview, Mir goes on to talk about his path into MotoGP, how much easier or harder it is to be a rookie on a Suzuki, compared to a Ducati or a Yamaha, and how long he will need to adapt.

Q: Looking back at your racing career, it is just your fourth year in the world championship. So, when you started your world championship career in 2016, did you imagine you would be a MotoGP rider in four years?

Joan Mir: In four years, no. This is impossible. I think that this is a record or something. We have to find this, because it’s so, so fast. One year in Moto3. Win first race in Moto3, podiums. Then second year in Moto3 world champion. Then first year in Moto2 podiums. Then first year in MotoGP. It’s unbelievable. It’s so fast, but in all my career, I was always competitive, always. Also in MotoGP. So, I’m happy to be here.

Obviously, I would like to do one year more in Moto2 and fight for the title, because it’s something that we were able to do, to have a title in Moto2. I didn’t have it, but because everything came like this, everything fell into place so I had the contract with Suzuki. Otherwise I needed to wait two more years if I wanted to go up to MotoGP. I said, the moment is now. I went up. At the end I’m happy to be here.

Q: It was the best opportunity and you took the best opportunity to move up to MotoGP?

JM: Yeah. I had a couple of options. I had a lot in that moment, but I chose Suzuki because when my heart spoke, in that moment I listened to my heart. The other opportunities were really good, I have to say. But I said, I want - you know Kevin Schwantz, obviously - I want to be one day like this guy. With one brand of his life, more or less, ambassador of Suzuki. So, it’s more or less my reference for what I want to do. That’s it. When I have won some titles with Suzuki, then we will talk. Then we will say, maybe now I need different things. But my compromise now is to fight for the title next year or another year with Suzuki.

Q: When you started racing in 2016, Marc Marquez was already a superstar. Jorge Lorenzo was the champion then, and Valentino was already a legend. Now you are racing with them. What came to your mind when the first race with them in Qatar?

JM: It was so good. It’s nice because you see the colors that you see in the TV of Valentino yellow, the red of Marc and everything. I was there and I was seeing everything, and I was super happy in that moment. Also being there, touching his wheel. It was nice.

Q: Did you get nervous?

JM: No. In the race, no. Before? A lot. In the first race in Qatar, I was so, so nervous. Then when you are riding, I never have it. Never. But before, a lot. I think it was the moment when I was most nervous in my life.

Q: You said you didn’t believe four years ago you would be a MotoGP rider, so can you imagine what will happen four years from now? Maybe you will be a world champion?

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Mir says the Suzuki is missing nothing. At some of the MotoGp races last year Alex Rins & Joan Mir did stay with the "faster bikes" on the straights. 

This fabulous interview doesn't seem to be generating a whole lot of interest?

Perhaps my motomatters comrades in the northern hemisphere are busy working on motorcycles indoors, in preparation for spring. Or maybe youse are all hibernating?

Loved it. The kid has a lot of confidence.
He seems to be pitching himself a bit to the Suzuki brass, hope they appreciate some ingratiating. He is a great rider that impressed. I agree w you that Suzuki is doing well on riders now. A mostly amicable competition amongst he and Rins would be a healthy boost.

This bike, it is surprisingly good! How long can they watch Petronas-like 2nd team strength and synergy and respond w a shrug? And still no primary sponsor?! Glad that bike is here, the garage seems to have ducks in a row. Above Davide though...not impressed. Cautious approach eyeing an approaching economic downturn? Just plain old underfunctioning? Avoiding long distance/roaming phone charges? Then why not start w Moviestar?

That bike can bloody well win. Both riders are really really good and on a steady rise. Add a few HP (it was only the Yamaha making the Zook look fast outside the draft, Marc crashed out of that COTA win), a Jr Team w a guy like Gresini, and a major sponsor. I honestly wonder what I am missing here.

Same for the Yamaha motor dyno. And the Ducati riders perhaps as well. Does anyone else have to increase the dampening on their MotoGP fan hearts?

Here comes KTM. And look a bit further, is that Aprilia?! Why do I feel like MotoGP is just going to Honda my hopes and leave Marc marks drifting rubber over them? Once they had a V5 and wrote the rulebook. Now they have a MM93, and don't have to?

Mitigating the excitement yet again.

Apical, I take it your neighborhood is ok for a return home? Wishing you and Australia well and a bit more rain. Sitting here w broken ribs, 675R in pieces getting a going through. Looking fwd to Spring.

I see a good season arising, on track AND a long doozy silly season of course. There is going to be a REALLY interesting bike-rider combo coming, if not a few. Ducati is ready for a Quarty or Vinales if the Yamaha motor is anemic. The KTM bike may be about to arrive in good form too, 3 riders doing the business. This new Aprilia, salivating. May it have a HUGE motor, be reliable, and draw a 2nd rider of stature to run it past A.Espargaro...

Get well soon Motoshrink. My comments aren't funny enough to make you laugh. That hurts with broken costae.

I'm guessing you and the 675 sustained damage in the same learning experience.

Buckled bikes can be made better or replaced. People cannot be replaced. Hope you get back on a motorcycle in the spring.

My valley is one of the green bits surrounded by black, OK for now.

Fausto Gresini running two 2020 Suzukis next year. I'd like to see that.

I'd like to see Aprilia do well again. Not holding much hope right now.

Terrific interview! Joan Mir was pretty articulate in describing who he is and where he is in his racing. I especially liked his assessment of the other rookies and pushing back on how easy-to-ride the Suzuki actually is. Then he backed it up with a little history lesson. He's a smart young guy and he's going to be successful in everything he does. I was really bummed when Suzuki let Maverick slip away and then hire the two they have now. My dissappointment was short lived because they have two real talents with a bright future. I am sure they both will fight for the title. I'm a fan of both Rins and Mir. That they have different riding styles should make them stronger as a developing team.