Joan Mir was full of praise for his Suzuki MotoGP squad after bagging a debut rostrum appearance in last weekends Austrian Grand Prix, the Spaniard defeating Jack Miller for second.
Mir finally delivered on the promising speed shown by the GSX-RR so far during 2020 by defeating Miller at the penultimate corner of the contest to snatch second having closed down the leading Ducati pair across the closing laps.
Mir’s rostrum is the first for Suzuki since Alex Rins’ victory at Silverstone nearly a year ago, the Japanese marque unable to deliver on its promising race pace shown during practice until now.
The ’17 Moto3 world champion explained how he managed to wrong-foot Miller on the final lap, the Pramac racer running wide at Turn 9 after attempting to defend his runners-up result from the harrying Suzuki behind.
“It’s an amazing day for me to get my first podium here in Austria, four years ago I got the first victory in my career here in Moto3, so it’s an amazing place to achieve my dream,” said Mir following the Austrian GP.
“I did my strategy. I was struggling a bit in the first two sectors on the straights because the Ducati is so fast, but I was faster in Turn’s 3 and 4 I was faster than the two ahead so I showed my cards and opened the line in one of the last corners (Turn 8) so that Jack would be able to hear my bike.
“Then he tried a bit too much and went a bit wide and I was on the correct line and overtook him, therefore I did the right manoeuvre and the second position is like a victory.
Mir’s team-mate Rins lost out on a possible first victory of the season after very briefly passing Andrea Dovizioso for the race lead, having looked significantly faster at that point of the encounter.
The two-time premier class victor dived down the inside of the Ducati at Turn 5, but tucked the front mid-corner and slid off into the gravel and subsequent retirement.
Mir reckoned he and Suzuki had already proven to be fast enough for the podium in the early races of the campaign, but that external factors had prevented them from reaching the box thus far.
“They (Suzuki) deserve everything, a couple of races ago we were able to fight for the podium but for some reason even though we had the speed we couldn’t reach our goal, but then here in Austria even though on paper it is not our strongest track we were very strong all weekend, so if we are strong here we should be able to make good races (at the upcoming events).”
Mir’s inconsistent start to his ’20 campaign-having twinned a pair of top five results with two DNF’s-means he heads into this weekend’s Styrian GP ninth in the riders standings on 31 points, level with Petronas SRT’s Franco Morbidelli but 36 in-arrears of championship leader Fabio Quartararo.