Joan Mir says he is “optimistic” for a stronger second weekend in Qatar after admitting he and his Suzuki squad “confused ourselves” over set-up during the pre-season test at Losail.
The reigning MotoGP world champion struggled for speed across Friday and Saturday and only marginally cleared the Q1 session after ending FP2 11th, then could only manage tenth on the grid behind team-mate Alex Rins.
He had a much stronger run in the 22-lap Qatar GP on Sunday though, climbing as high as second on the final tour before being bumped back to fourth on the run to the line by the more powerful Ducati’s of Johann Zarco and Francesco Bagnaia.
Mir says his race-day resurgence came about after switching back to an older set-up that he says gave him the “good feeling back straight away”, leaving him hopeful that this weekend’s second event at the Losail International Circuit should play out more smoothly.
“In the test we tried a lot of things and I think we probably confused ourselves a bit, so we came back this morning having gone back to a setting which we used previously and I got the good feeling back straight away,” explained Mir.
“I’m happy because we’ll start with a better base on Friday (for Doha GP) so this should make the weekend a bit better, and hopefully the race so I’m optimistic.”
The Spaniard went on to detail how he elected to gamble on taking second from Zarco on the final tour knowing he would likely be in trouble on the run to the line, accepting that if he’d decided to remain behind the Pramac pilot he could have more-than-likely salvaged a rostrum result.
“I tried to get second but finished fourth, I think if I stayed third behind Zarco with the slipstream I could have defended the third position,” continued Mir.
“I didn’t realise Pecco (Bagnaia) was so close so I lost two positions, so a bit frustrated but I couldn’t do anything to manage the situation because they have more power and this is a fact.
“I was trying to brake hard but went a bit wide (at final corner on final lap), but I didn’t think I lost any acceleration only speed in the corner, they (Ducati) just had more power than us and they overtook us.”