In part one of Akira Nishimura's interview with Joan Mir, the Ecstar Suzuki rider spoke about adapting to MotoGP, what he learned from his teammate Alex Rins, and where they need to improve for 2020. In the second half of the interview, Mir goes on to talk about his path into MotoGP, how much easier or harder it is to be a rookie on a Suzuki, compared to a Ducati or a Yamaha, and how long he will need to adapt.
Q: Looking back at your racing career, it is just your fourth year in the world championship. So, when you started your world championship career in 2016, did you imagine you would be a MotoGP rider in four years?
Joan Mir: In four years, no. This is impossible. I think that this is a record or something. We have to find this, because it’s so, so fast. One year in Moto3. Win first race in Moto3, podiums. Then second year in Moto3 world champion. Then first year in Moto2 podiums. Then first year in MotoGP. It’s unbelievable. It’s so fast, but in all my career, I was always competitive, always. Also in MotoGP. So, I’m happy to be here.
Obviously, I would like to do one year more in Moto2 and fight for the title, because it’s something that we were able to do, to have a title in Moto2. I didn’t have it, but because everything came like this, everything fell into place so I had the contract with Suzuki. Otherwise I needed to wait two more years if I wanted to go up to MotoGP. I said, the moment is now. I went up. At the end I’m happy to be here.
Q: It was the best opportunity and you took the best opportunity to move up to MotoGP?
JM: Yeah. I had a couple of options. I had a lot in that moment, but I chose Suzuki because when my heart spoke, in that moment I listened to my heart. The other opportunities were really good, I have to say. But I said, I want - you know Kevin Schwantz, obviously - I want to be one day like this guy. With one brand of his life, more or less, ambassador of Suzuki. So, it’s more or less my reference for what I want to do. That’s it. When I have won some titles with Suzuki, then we will talk. Then we will say, maybe now I need different things. But my compromise now is to fight for the title next year or another year with Suzuki.
Q: When you started racing in 2016, Marc Marquez was already a superstar. Jorge Lorenzo was the champion then, and Valentino was already a legend. Now you are racing with them. What came to your mind when the first race with them in Qatar?
JM: It was so good. It’s nice because you see the colors that you see in the TV of Valentino yellow, the red of Marc and everything. I was there and I was seeing everything, and I was super happy in that moment. Also being there, touching his wheel. It was nice.
Q: Did you get nervous?
JM: No. In the race, no. Before? A lot. In the first race in Qatar, I was so, so nervous. Then when you are riding, I never have it. Never. But before, a lot. I think it was the moment when I was most nervous in my life.
Q: You said you didn’t believe four years ago you would be a MotoGP rider, so can you imagine what will happen four years from now? Maybe you will be a world champion?
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