MotoGP champion Joan Mir ‘better in 2021’ despite failing to lead a lap

Joan Mir feels he rode a stronger MotoGP campaign in 2021 en route to third overall than his 2020 title-winning campaign despite failing to lead a lap of it

Joan Mir - Suzuki GSX-RR

Joan Mir insists he raced better during the 2021 MotoGP World Championship than during his title-winning 2020 campaign, despite failing to lead a single lap.

The Spaniard swept to a shock MotoGP title in 2020 with Suzuki - only his second season in the top flight - but endured a tougher defence campaign, failing to win a race or lead a single lap over the 18 races.

Even so, the principles that defined his championship win - most notably the consistency that took him to six podiums this season -  remained in place, lifting him to third position in the standings.

Indeed, with Suzuki failing to make the same notable step forward over the winter compared with Ducati and the Fabio Quartararo-helmed Yamaha, Mir was proud of his campaign, maintaining he completed the 2021 season as a better rider than he did a year previously.

"I have ridden the same bike as in 2020 and I have been faster in all races,” he told Spanish newspaper Marca. “It's that easy. Joan Mir has been better than in 2020. The others have improved a lot and I have not been able to be in the positions in which I like to be."

As with the majority of the grid, Mir’s contract with Suzuki ends with the conclusion of the 2022 MotoGP season, with negotiations over a potential extension likely to begin soon. 

For now Mir remains committed to Suzuki but admits he will keep an eye on opportunities should they arise.

"It is important to feel the market a bit, see what we can do. I don't know what I'll do, but if I see that Suzuki wants the same thing I do, I'll surely stay.”

Together with his World Championship title success, Mir has now achieved 13 podiums in MotoGP but to date has only one win to his name.

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