Mir Magic Masters MotoGP World Championship 2020 With Team Suzuki Ecstar!
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Mir Magic Masters MotoGP World Championship 2020 With Team Suzuki Ecstar!

By FORMULAMotoGPMag - 16 November 2020

Author: Myanna Wedes

They say diamonds are made under pressure and what a way to be crowned in Valencia than with a MotoGP crown and the bells and whistles that go with the honour! The Grand Prix was exhilarating and ended with Joan Mir crowed as MotoGP World Champion, Franco Morbidelli and Jack Miller pushing each other until the line for the victory and others crashing out with sadness, that in particular, Fabio Quartararo. It was a dominant third win for Morbidelli who was comfortable, feeling like himself and racing with a relaxed mindset, a real credit to his racing style. With the Championship lost, Quartararo will have to analyse his mistakes, look towards 2021 with a new bike as he arrives into a factory team and be prepared to work even harder because Team Suzuki Ecstar are in for the long haul! When you look at the races in 2020, you can see why Mir became the Champion:

1. He was consistent.

2. He was confident in the team’s ability to perform.

3. He was always humble.

4. He fought hard and continued to stay focused.

5. He utilised the Suzuki like never before to excel and hit targets.

6. He never complained about the lack of performance and instead found ways to improve.

7. He listened to his crew, bosses and worked collectively to achieve a common goal.

8. He never stopped pushing even when the pressure was mounting at this race event.

9. Overall, Mir is more than deserving of the honour and with a win to his name!

Credit - Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP (Joan Mir)

Mir joins a special list of Suzuki former World Champions and has set himself in the record books as the third Spanish rider to win and a rider to achieve the top result in only two seasons of MotoGP to which last year he spent recovering after a lung contusions. What a trooper! A special shoutout has to be said for Davide Brivio. He has dedicated his life to the Suzuki package and dream of winning. Credit is due because he never stopped believing within the five years of chasing the World Championship status. This is truly remarkable and will definitely help with an increase of Suzuki bikes on the general roads as they showcase performance, class, a colour scheme that everyone still loves to the day and two young riders with personality. Not to mention, the fact that Alex Rins could finish second in the title and the constructors could also go their way!

Credit - Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP (Joan Mir)

Davide Brivio - Team Manager:

“It’s an unbelievable feeling, we could not have hoped for more! To win the title this year, when it’s Suzuki’s 100th anniversary and the 60th year in racing, and also 20 years since the last title - in my wildest dreams I couldn’t imagine something as good as this, it’s truly great. Huge congratulations must go to Joan, he was so consistent and professional throughout. Alex also did a really good job today to get decent points and 4th place. Finally I must thank all the staff - whether at home, in Japan, or here at the circuit - they’ve all worked incredibly hard for this. Thank you so much for everything.”

Credit - Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP (Joan Mir)

Joan Mir:

“World Champion? It sounds amazing! It’s really hard to find the words at the moment, but I must say thank you to so many people; to Suzuki for this opportunity, I’m so happy to give them a title! To be the person who brings them another crown after 20 years is an unbelievable feeling and a true honour. The entire team did an incredible job, and I’m just so overjoyed with this championship win. I’ve come a long way since being a child with hardly any money to go racing, and my family are to thank for this. I worked very hard to get to the top and this reward is amazing. Today’s race wasn’t easy, but I got the result I needed and I hope to have a great end in Portimao. It’s time to celebrate but we must do it responsibly.”

Alex Rins:

“In the end, I wasn’t able to get the title, but I’m so happy for Joan and all of Team Suzuki! It’s incredible that he won the championship in only his second year, and the entire team have worked so hard to achieve this. So the feeling is amazing, even for me. Today Franco had a very strong pace and the best I could do was 4th, but I’m still fighting to get second place in the standings, so I’m happy with the result. I’m hoping to finish the season on a high when we go to Portimao!”

The race was one to remember with Australian rider Jack Miller turning up the wick and battling hard with his Ducati machine. It was a good duel between the two because both thought they were going to win and then it changed and reality hit that the mind games were on. It was so close as Miller almost pipped Franky on the main straight. You have to love how the riders psyche each other out on the track as they push the tyres to the maximum and learn more about one another as competitors. We anticipate 2021 will see these two fighting once again and it will be thrilling on and off the circuit.

Credit - Pramac MotoGP Team (Jack Miller)

Jack Miller:

“I’m very happy, I had fun from the first lap. One of the most beautiful races of my life, it’s a shame because at a certain point when I passed Morbidelli I thought I could win, but when you finish fighting a good duel you can only be happy. A special thanks to my team who worked very well.”

Credit - PETRONAS Yamaha SRT MotoGP Team (Franco Morbidelli)

Franco Morbidelli:

“It was the best victory of the year, maybe even the best one of my life! It was a complicated race: I felt that we had good potential all weekend, but then we opted for the hard front tyre in the race and I had to change my riding style slightly. I couldn’t pull away from Jack [Miller] like I wanted to, despite trying so hard, and I knew that he would be a strong competitor if he got close to me. It was all about giving more than you have on the last lap and that’s what both of us did. We had a really nice, clean fight. I’ve always liked battling Jack because he is tough but clean in his battles, and he was strong today so congratulations to him. I am so happy with the win today so thank you to the team as well. I also want to say congratulations to Joan [Mir] for winning the title this year; he has been a really strong competitor this year.”

Credit - PETRONAS Yamaha SRT MotoGP Team (Franco Morbidelli)

To those who experience defeat, it is a hard road to walk on and French rider and title favourite Quartararo is going to have to learn how it feels to lose especially when he had a dominant lead. The last few races will be the key to how he decides to tackle 2021 and with a new team. There could be a combination of emotional, physical and mechanical aspects to his downfall and this does happen in the world of sport and in particular motorsport. We have no doubts at all that Quartararo will find his feet again and Yamaha are going to need it because 2020 was a door open they could have closed on everyone else if their bikes were consistent like Suzuki. It would have been a record for the French rider to win a MotoGP title like Mir has done in only two years of the sport. This will ignite a fire within the belly for those who desire it so much and that includes Maverick Vinales, Miller, Brad Binder, Alex Marquez and certainly the new arrivals who are going to be on show from the first test!

Credit - PETRONAS Yamaha SRT MotoGP Team (Fabio Quartararo)

Fabio Quartararo:

“Unfortunately I couldn’t do anything today to take the championship fight to the final race. We just didn’t have the pace. I was pushing with more than what I had today and that was why I made some mistakes. P10 might have been possible today, but I wanted more than that and instead I made those mistakes. We have had some good points this year and we have positives going into the future, but right now it’s tough to accept that we haven’t won this year. It’s true that we could have done better, but it’s easy to say that now. Also Joan [Mir] has been very strong and very consistent, so he deserves this championship and my congratulations go to him. I hope that we can finish this season in a good way at the final race in Portimäo.”

The journey to winning will be a hard one in 2021 for Pol Espargaro though who changes manufacturer completely. He is leaving behind the KTM for the Honda. Right now, there is speculation that Marc Marquez may not be as fit as required for the 2021 season so it remains unknown as to how that will all play out. What we do know is that a podium once again for Espargaro is a nice way to almost finish the season although Binder will be required to pull his socks up and really compete because the second half of the season has been a bit of a down feeling with lack of performance, trust in the tyres and poor qualifying. He is learning a lot, utilising every sessions as a test and will be pushing again to finish 2020 as a superb debut season.

Credit - KTM Images/Polarity Photo (Pol Espargaro)

Pol Espargaro:

“That was fantastic. I’m super-happy. We didn’t expect the podium this weekend. We felt that we deserved it but Nakagami was pushing me hard until he crashed. We were great from the beginning until the end and I was on the limit with the pace I could make. No mistakes. We’re again on the podium – the fifth of the season – unbelievable.”

Credit - Ducati Corse Press (Andrea Dovizioso)

When you think about the fact a pandemic has existed and the intensity of the race workloads, travel limits, team personnel responsibility and rider demand, it is quite an impressive World Championship to win for the Suzuki team and those who also had a chance to succeed. Unfortunately, Cal Crutchlow departs from the sport full time a non-championship winner as does Tito Rabat and Andrea Dovizioso. We are losing two incredible stars in Crutchlow and Dovi, one a test rider for Yamaha next year and Dovi taking a sabbatical. Whether or not we see him again full time on the grid will be an interesting test of time. It is sad though Valentino Rossi remains on the grid and Vinales will be eager to see a fellow Spaniard take charge and hold up high the trophy he desires to take home with the Yamaha team alongside him. Talk about reasons to be motivated!

Valentino Rossi:

“At this level, coming back strong is something you have to do step-by-step. I needed this race, because last week I did just four laps. I had six consecutive zero-point results because of mistakes, a problem with the bike, and Covid-19. We know that here it's difficult for me, because this is my worst track in my whole career. We tried everything. Unfortunately, we didn't have a lot of grip, but in the end we finished the race. I wasn't fast enough, but I was consistent all the way to the end, and also physically I feel good. This is important. Now we hope we can feel better with the bike and the tyres in Portimão next week. We will try to be more competitive. I think Mir deserves this championship. He is mature for his age and doesn't make mistakes in crucial moments, so congratulations to him.”

Credit - Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MotoGP Team (Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales)

Maverick Vinales:

“The start was difficult, but I tried to concentrate, get the rhythm, and be better. Somehow I never really got that feeling that I had some races ago. But I did the maximum I could in the race, and now all we can do as a team is to try to understand what we can improve for the final round. The next race we ride in Portimão, which is a track I like, and we will try to go fast. We hope to have a bit more grip there so we can get a better result. I want to say congratulations to Joan. He is a deserving winner of this year's title.”

The demands from the riders is sure to be challenging for the teams and we look forward to the last race of the season where everyone can enjoy and have fun racing around a truly remarkable circuit!

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