Another piece has slotted into place for the 2021 MotoGP season, and like the last announcement - Alex Rins at Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP - it is far from a surprise. Today, Suzuki announced it has extended its deal with Joan Mir for another two years, for the 2021 and the 2022 seasons.
The deal had been long coming. Talks had been ongoing for a while, to such an extent that Joan Mir dropped a very heavy hint that the deal was done in an Instagram Live question and answer session, saying that he "wasn't allowed to say anything" but that he would have news soon.
Mir's signing makes it two factory teams which are full up, Suzuki joining the Monster Energy Yamaha team. Two more riders are signed for the future: Tito Rabat has another year on his deal at Avintia, and will be riding in 2021. And Marc Marquez is locked in at Repsol Honda for four more seasons after this, and will race for them through 2024.
The next moves on the MotoGP rider market are likely to take some more time. Valentino Rossi has been told that there will be a factory bike with factory support from Yamaha if he decides to race in 2021, which is looking increasingly likely as the start of the season is delayed further, giving him fewer races to base a decision on. KTM is likely to stick with their current riders, and Aprilia looks likely to retain Aleix Espargaro, though the second rider is in question.
The Ducati seats seem to be open, with an abundance of candidates. Ducati have made clear they want so see some racing before making a decision, and are in no rush to make their minds up.
Current MotoGP rider line up for the 2021 season:
|Monster Energy Yamaha|
|Maverick Viñales||Yamaha M1||2022|
|Fabio Quartararo||Yamaha M1||2022|
|Marc Márquez||Honda RC213V||2024|
|Alex Rins||Suzuki GSX-RR||2022|
|Joan Mir||Suzuki GSX-RR||2022|
Press release from Suzuki announcing Joan Mir has extended his contract:
SUZUKI CONFIRMS THE RENEWAL OF JOAN MIR FOR 2021 AND 2022
Team Suzuki Press Office – May 2.
Team Suzuki Ecstar and Suzuki Racing Company are pleased to announce that Joan Mir will remain in blue colours for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. The news of the renewal of his contract comes shortly after that of Alex Rins, who will also be with the team until 2022. The pairing provide a solid and competitive unit for Suzuki as they look towards the future and aim high in terms of results.
Joan Mir made his MotoGP debut with Team Suzuki Ecstar in 2019, following a highly successful Moto3 season in 2017 which saw him crowned champion. The 22 year old who hails from Palma de Mallorca came quickly through the ranks early in his career and proved to be a fast learner when making his ‘top class’ debut too. Gelling well with his new team, he secured 8th place in his inaugural race in Suzuki colours, going on to score another nine Top 10 finishes in 2019 despite an injury hit mid-season.
Once fully recovered, Joan was able to pick up an impressive 5th place finish at Phillip Island last season, and in the 2020 pre-season tests he was showing fantastic form and pace with the latest generation GSX-RR.
The current situation surrounding the Covid-19 crisis makes for a strange environment for both the team and the rider at the moment, with so much uncertainty in the air. However, this latest announcement ensures a firm eye is kept on the future and proves the confidence which Team Suzuki Ecstar have in their young rider.
Shinichi Sahara - Project Leader:
“We are proud to have reached an agreement with Mir alongside Rins and maintain the current lineup. This will give us a continuity that will be very helpful for the development from a technical point of view. The consistency of keeping the same riders is very important, because it helps us keep track of the progress made and means we stay on the right path. Beside this, Joan is a talented rider, he has already shown strong skills last year and we believe he could harvest some important successes with our team as soon as his experience grows.”
“We are very happy to have reached an agreement with Joan Mir and have him complete our lineup for the next two years. We consider Joan a very talented rider and it is important to continue together to take full advantage of the experience that we have built so far and trying to improve even more. We are also happy to have a young team with two very strong riders such as Alex and Joan, which has always been our real target. This allows us to look to the future with confidence.
“I would like to thank Joan for trusting us with his future and also the whole Suzuki Motor Corporation who supports us. Being able to extend the agreements with both Alex Rins and Joan Mir during such an extraordinary and strange moment in history is a sign that give us high hopes for the future, and encouragement to all the fans to look ahead with positivity and optimism, with the hope of being able to get back on track as soon as possible.”
“I’m extremely happy to sign with Suzuki for another two years - renewing is the best thing that could happen and it’s a dream come true again! It’s really important for me to continue because now I have more time to learn and more time to show my potential. Two years can go by quickly, but I am ready to arrive at a higher level, and we are working every day to make that happen. I am also so pleased on a personal level because I have a really good team and crew around me. I really want to thank everyone at Suzuki for their confidence in me, and let’s see if I can get the results that we’re capable of.”
#SuzukiStaySafe #WeWillReunite #RidersAtHome #StayAtHome