Joan Mir and Suzuki are the 2020 MotoGP World Champions!

Joan Mir secure the 2020 MotoGP World Championship in Valencia to become one of the most unexpected title winners in the history of GP racing

Joan Mir has been crowned the 2020 MotoGP World Champion with one round to spare after a steady run to seventh place in the Valencia MotoGP proved enough to complete a magnificent achievement.

A title win that will go down in grand prix racing history as possibly the most unexpected ever achieved, though some may point to a compacted 14-round season and Marc Marquez’s injury-induced absence for the outcome, it doesn’t deny the sheer gravity of his efforts.

Indeed, whereas Marquez’s multiple titles came largely as a result of crushing dominance, Mir’s title tilt has been forged on the strength of metronomic consistency in a year season of nine different race winners from 13 races and wildly fluctuating fortunes for the assumed favourites.

The result is the emergence of a superstar, which while unexpected perhaps at this stage of his young career - this being only his fifth season in GP racing and his second season in MotoGP - demonstrates the value of unflappableness under pressure, as well as raw speed.

Indeed, though Suzuki had certainly turned heads pre-season enough for some to point to his team-mate Alex Rins as an outside bet, Mir will admit himself he wasn’t an obvious title contender pre-season. Two crashes in the opening three races didn’t help his cause either, but a breakthrough maiden podium in Austria signalled the start of a remarkable turn around in fortunes.

Joan Mir and his unconventional route to 2020 MotoGP glory

Even so, it still took time for Mir’s title credentials to become clear, not least because you rarely saw him towards the front of the field until the closing stages of races, the result of the Suzuki GSX-RR’s superior tyre conservation allowing him to make gains late on.

With podiums following at both Misano races and then at Catalunya, coupled to peaks and troughs for the likes of Fabio Quartararo and Andrea Dovizioso meant Mir was well in the hunt without needing to step foot on the podium.

With Quartararo’s form falling off a cliff in the latter stages of the season and Mir playing the long game, while the man himself was frustrated at his lack of race winning silverware, his results sheet was enough to assume the title lead from Round 11 onwards.

With his maiden victory in Valencia a week ago breaking that duck in the most timely fashion, Mir went from title contender to champion-elect heading into the final two rounds. In the end he only needed one of them to get the job done.

Credit must also go to Suzuki, which after a few seasons of showing flashes of form, has developed the GSX-RR into possibly the most rounded machine on the grid with no discernible faults, being agile, quick enough in a straight line and bulletproof in reliability.

Moreover, this is only Suzuki’s seventh premier class title win, it’s first since 2000 with Kenny Roberts Jr and its first of the MotoGP era.

Also, despite eschewing the usual satellite route to have only two bikes on the grid, Suzuki stands on the cusp of a triple crown in the teams’ and manufacturers’ standings.
 

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