Mir confesses his MotoGP incident in Le Mans was “mentally painful”

Joan Mir of Suzuki feels his fall out of podium position in the MotoGP French Grand Prix this Sunday was “painful mentally.”


At the halfway mark of the Le Mans race, the 2020 championship winner was closing in on Jack Miller’s Ducati for third place, having broken away somewhat from Aleix Espargaro’s Aprilia.

However, on circuit 15 of 27, Mir wrecked out at the penultimate corner, following squad member Alex Rins in retiring early in Suzuki’s initial race weekend since the company’s surprise announcement to exit from MotoGP at the end of 2022.

Mir believes the collision was psychologically hard to accept since he was able to change things around after a terrible Saturday at Le Mans, where he was asked to run through Q1 “unexpectedly.”

“The crash has been painful mentally, because after a difficult Saturday, FP3, I had to go through Q1 unexpectedly, I expected more on Saturday,” Mir explained.

“We changed the bike a bit, I was able to up the speed again to qualify more or less good.

“The start was great, I went out with the medium front tyre which was the tyre that in FP2 I crashed badly.

“Straight away I felt good with that tyre, was good for us. I was able to be really constant on the lap times.

“I made a mistake, I went wide, the straight away I was recovering the distance to the top riders again. Every time I was getting closer, it’s true that behind the Ducatis it’s always difficult to stop the bike.

“I didn’t manage in a good way, I made a mistake, a mix of things.

“One thing was this one, another thing was I tried to brake too much, too late, and then I had to trail the brakes more than normal and when I released the brakes I lost the front.”

Mir also concedes he isn’t a title contender right now, having fallen 46 points behind Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo – who finished a disappointing fourth on Sunday – but believes the 2022 Suzuki is worthy of a title fight.

“It has been a first part of a season that I feel I have the potential, the bike works,” Mir added.

“We are showing flashes of performance, but I cannot put it altogether to make the results that we want.

“I am confident these results will get better. I’m sure once we are on the podium we have to stay there because now we are not fighting for the championship. We are just feeling the way.”

Rins’ Le Mans race ended in horrific way on lap 3, while he was in third place, when he wrecked at the Dunlop chicane after speeding through the gravel trap.

Rins claims he was sucked into the fast first curve by Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia’s slipstream, causing him to tuck the front end and seat up to run into the gravel, where he eventually collapsed as he attempted to return to the race.

“Was scary, sincerely. I mean, it was so scary,” Rins said. “We did the most difficult thing, which was to recover positions.

“We did a great start, great first lap. Then I was third behind Pecco, going good, with no stress riding well.

“Then when I arrived into the first corner behind him, I braked at exactly the same point as the lap before and his slipstream [sucked me in]. And then when I touched the brake I lose the front.

“Then I had to go to the gravel and in the gravel it’s difficult to manage because in that point you need to control the bike at 200km/h, trying to look at the where the riders are and I was trying to avoid the crash with Miller.

“When I went out of the gravel to re-join the race, I exited with a little bit of angle and then I lose control of the bike.”

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Joan Mir, Suzuki, Grand Prix, MOTO, Moto racing, Motocross, MotoGP, MXGP, Le Mans

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