MotoGP’s newest race winner Joan Mir reckons his debut premier class success “came in the perfect moment” as he increased to championship lead to 37 with just two races remaining.
The Suzuki ace moved up a position to fourth off the start before snatching third from LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami by the time the opening tour had come to an end.
He then swiftly relegated KTM’s Pol Espargaro to third and chased down team-mate Alex Rins across the remainder of the 27 lap encounter, eventually moving into the lead after Rins ran wide after shifting down a gear too many at Turn 11 with ten laps to go.
Mir then eased away over the remaining tours, taking the chequered flag 0.651 ahead of Rins to put one hand on the riders championship trophy and claim his first win since competing in Moto3 with Leopard Racing in 2017.
The Spaniard-who ended up winning the Moto3 title in ’17-hailed his maiden premier class success as “amazing”, admitting he was just satisfied to find good speed in the wet during Friday and Saturday after struggling in similar conditions at Le Mans for the French GP in September.
“It’s amazing, I don’t have words to describe this moment,” said Mir.
“The victory came in the perfect moment, obviously I would have liked to get the victory in Austria also, but that wasn’t meant to be the day and this one was.
“I was already happy before the race because we’d done a great weekend, especially on Friday where we worked on the bike, and then on Saturday I found something good in the wet conditions so I could have a good qualifying in those conditions.
“The in the warm-up we worked really well and the pace was not bad, this was the key to victory today as I just had a bit more than the others.
“I’m also happy for Suzuki, first and second is amazing, I don’t have words.”
Mir said he struggled to find the “perfect moment” to pass his team-mate while running close in proximity to the three-time MotoGP winner, but when he did he had “two or three tenths” in hand to cruise to victory.
“I wanted to wait longer (into the race) to overtake Alex (Rins), because I felt my pace was a bit better than his, but it was difficult to maintain my focus and think about looking after the tyres, and you never know the perfect moment (to pass),” added Mir.
“Then when I saw him go wide I took the opportunity and carried on pushing in the same way, I had probably two or three tenths or more a lap and this was the key to the victory.”
The 23 year-old insisted it was now time for him “to be more clever than ever” as he enters next weekend’s Valencia GP at the same Ricardo Tormo venue with a very real opportunity to secure the riders title with a round to spare, though stated he would still try and push for victory should the chance present itself.
“It is now more important to be more clever than ever, we have a really good points advantage so with this victory I can probably make sure not to go all out (next week), it’s not done but I’m in much better shape than when we came here so I will try and repeat it (the win) next race, to see if I have the potential for the win,” said Mir.
“If not I will try and score good points.”
Mir entered the European GP event 15 points clear of Petronas SRT’s Fabio Quartararo, though a tough weekend for Yamaha in general meant his gap swelled to a near-unassailable 37 with just 50 left on the table after the Frenchman came home 14th after crashing on the opening tour.
Maverick Vinales’ struggled to make up ground after being forced to start from pit-lane due to taking a sixth engine of 2020, while Franco Morbidelli slipped to 12th after being unable to hold back a slew of riders behind him.
Such was Yamaha’s struggles, Rins vaulted himself from sixth overall to equal second with Quartararo thanks to his third consecutive rostrum result.