Suzuki wins and convinces but, for the first time in recent history, it was not Alex Rins but Joan Mir who got on the top step of the podium with the Hamamatsu bike. Young Mir has finally achieved his first success in MotoGP by beating the very teammate with whom he obtained the first Suzuki 1-2 since Randy Mamola, when in 1982 at Hockenheim he teamed up on the podium with Virginio Ferrari. Mir with today's victory put one hand on the world title with Alex Rins who, as second in the standings, will probably have to give up already in 7 days; but he’s not giving up…
“I'm really happy for the championship - he said - I'm 34 points behind and anything can happen. In the last few races I have recovered a lot of points and the injury at Jerez weighs heavily on my championship. Now I am on a par with Quartararo who, even if he is having some bad races, is an excellent rider and with a great mentality. Anything can happen but at the moment we are enjoying being first in all the standings with Suzuki ”.
The team and the bike seem to be, together with the talent of Rins and Mir, the main architects of a season well above expectations. The GSX-RR seems to have become the benchmark bike on the grid, how much has it changed since 2017, the year you joined the team and how much of your work is there in these improvements?
“The bike has changed a lot - the Spaniard replied - There have been some important changes to the engine and chassis and Suzuki is working and has worked hard to bring improvements and updates. The results we are seeing now are the result of the work done in the past and I know that in Japan they will be very happy with this. Every bike is a compromise, we turn in an incredible way but, for example, we don't have the braking of the KTM ”.
A KTM, that of Pol Espargarò, got onto the podium with you today starting from pole position. What sort of race was it? You led the group and then you went wide and Mir passed, what happened?
“The truth is that I missed a gear. Instead of shifting by two I went up by one, I lost time and also the possibility of staying in the lead. I felt very good on the bike but when Joan passed me I couldn't stay with him, because he had a great pace. At that point I thought about not letting Espargarò pass me because he was coming up very strongly on the hard tyre ”.
You said about Pol Espargarò's hard front tyre. Did you think about using it too? Could it be a solution for next week?
“Today I knew that I would use the medium because I had done very well in the warm-up. For next week we hope to be able to work on different compounds including the hard tyre. There are still some things to sort out on the bike but my base is very good. Maybe I'll fight with Mir, we haven't done it yet ”.
Alex, a comment on the black flag given in the Moto3 race to Albert Arenas, something similar happened to you in 2015 at Misano…
“I understand everyone's reasons, both those of the teams, and those of Albert. He came out of the box without being able to see the TV and let the whole group pass only to make it up. I believe that if he had chosen a different curve to pass Ogura he would not have got a black flag. Albert is a champion, today he proved it in the comeback he made on the other riders ”.