Mir leads, 'deserved something more'

Joan Mir joins fellow rookie Fabio Quartararo in leading a 2019 MotoGP race at Assen, albeit for only a few corners.
Mir leads, 'deserved something more'

Ducati may have a holeshot device, but it was the Suzukis of Alex Rins and Joan Mir that bolted to first and second at turn one of the Dutch MotoGP.

And when Rins fell on lap three, his rookie team-mate took the lead of a MotoGP race for the very first time.

But it would last just a few corners, nerves getting the better of the young Spaniard as he drifted wide through the fast-final section and slipped to fourth.

"I tried so hard to be up there, I think that first of all the choice of the soft tyre on the rear and hard front was a bit risky because it was not clear that we could finish the race in a good way," Mir said.

"I was there, we made a good start, I was following Alex because I know he has a lot of experience with this bike and he knows a little bit how to manage the tyres and this is what I need, this experience.

"Then I saw that he crashed, I was leading the race for a couple of corners but I was too nervous and I lost the concentration a little bit. But it's normal, like when you are a rookie in Moto3 and the first time you lead a race you’re a bit nervous.

"When I was behind the front group, the top three guys. I was quite comfortable but I said if I have to do this pace the tyre will be finished in a couple of laps, so I need to slow down a bit, I need to go back.

"The Ducatis overtook me, then I was there behind them saving as much tyre as I could. Because in the slipstream at this track you are able to save a bit more tyre."

Sixth during the middle stages, Mir then began retaliating against the factory Ducatis of Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso.

But after briefly returning to fourth, Mir's soft rear tyre was all but expended and he lost out to not only the GP19s but Petronas Yamaha of Franco Morbidelli and LCR Honda of Cal Crutchlow, for an eighth-place finish.

"When I saw that Fabio was getting slower I said 'I need to try' so I overtook the Ducatis and tried to push, but one lap later my tyre was completely finished.

"I think the soft tyre was a risky choice and I lost a lot of positions in the last two laps.

"So I'm happy and not happy because of that, but at the end we fought really hard today and I think that we deserved something more after a great weekend."

The late drop meant Mir wasn't able to at least match his career-best sixth place at the previous Barcelona round.

"It would be really difficult to save more tyre than I did during the race. Because I was really clever in some moments, but maybe I was too aggressive in those two laps [after I lost the lead].

"At the end, it’s experience. Now we go to Sachsenring, which is a track that I won at in the past and last year I almost won in Moto2. So it’s a good track for me. I don’t know for the bike, we will see, but it can be a good track for us."

Mir is now 14th in the world championship and second in the rookie standings behind Fabio Quartararo.