Mir criticized Suzuki’s lack of progress with its 2021 challenger over the bike it won the championship with last year, noting after the Dutch TT last month that its current package was “not enough” for it. defend his title.
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With just three podiums in the first nine races – all third – Mir is 55 points behind championship leader Fabio Quartararo at the start of the second half of the season.
Engine development for everyone except Aprilia (as it’s a dealership team) and KTM (which lost dealerships due to a COVID-forced development freeze in 2020) was frozen over the winter, which means Suzuki hasn’t been able to radically overhaul its GSX -RR for 2021.
But Mir doesn’t think the development freeze has anything to do with Suzuki’s current crisis and believes the brand has been caught up by the strides made by Yamaha, Ducati and Aprilia over the winter.
“Well I think frozen evolution doesn’t help us but it doesn’t make it worse because it is true that if evolution wasn’t frozen we could improve the engine,” he said. in an exclusive interview with Autosport.
“But others could improve it [too].
“So I think it’s more than they [Suzuki] didn’t find a big step to improve cycling this winter.
“So I think that’s the real problem. Normally Suzuki’s philosophy is a philosophy that I share because they don’t normally bring new bikes.
“In the pre-season tests you see Honda, Yamaha, Ducati, also Aprilia, KTM with different motorcycles.
“And Suzuki never normally brings a new bike.
“They bring a new chassis, a new swingarm, a new engine, step by step and gradually try to take a step on the bike.
“So normally it works but you have to bring certain things.
“Also, I have to say that I didn’t expect such a big improvement from other manufacturers.
” I did not expect that. Probably Suzuki too. It probably makes things a little more difficult.
Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport images
Mir also pushed back on suggestions that team manager Davide Brivio left ahead of the season for contributing to Suzuki’s difficult season.
The world champion is pinning his title hopes on the introduction of rear ride height adjustment – which the Suzuki is the only bike not to have – in the second half of the season, but was backed by the improvement KTM was able to make from the Italian GP when it introduced a relatively small update in the form of a new chassis.
“We have seen at KTM that this is a big boost because it shows that with the same effort as [Miguel] Oliveira and [Brad] Binder was doing [at the start of the year], now they are fighting to win races, ”he added.
“So that’s kind of what we’re missing. We also start with a downside, which is that everyone started out with a hole-in device and we don’t have that device.
“So this for acceleration at the moment, we are at a disadvantage.
“So, let’s see once we’re all with the same thing and Suzuki starts to bring new things to be faster, let’s see where we are. I think. [with] that we will be strong.