Everyone's life has changed these days, including that of the riders. The difficulty in training, the postponement of the start of the championship, all restrictions unthinkable until just a few weeks ago that have now become part of everyday life. Joan Mir, like everyone else, is trying to face them in the best possible way, waiting to be able to get back on his Suzuki.
How is it being at home and watching the Covid-19 crisis develop?
“I am extremely surprised by the evolution of the virus around the world and all the damage it is causing to thousands of families. Honestly speaking, it is sad and a big shame what we are all going through. All we can do is stay strong and be united.”
Are you one to watch TV all day trying to follow the news blow-by-blow, or do you prefer to try and distract yourself from the situation?
“Not all day, but I do watch the news to try to understand the situation a little more. I prefer not to obsess, but I follow everything carefully and trust the experts - I think they will be making the best decisions for everyone.”
What is your favourite way to pass the time so as not to think too much about the outbreak?
“Well, I try to continue with ‘normal life’, but it is evident that us riders cannot train like before because we have limitations and restrictions. We cannot do motorcycle training, but I try to train at home in a mini gym that I have. I try to take it day by day with as much patience as possible.”
“Health and family are essential things in anyone's life, motorcycling is a sport, a show, and that's it”
How has this global crisis which has paralysed the world, including sports, affected your way of life?
“For now it has not affected me at all except for the cancellation of the first race, the postponements, and the concern it generates. We have to be very clear that health is more important than anything else. I also have recent experience from the accident last year in Brno that taught me a lot and showed me how much value being healthy has, because without health we have nothing. It is more important than fame, money or any other secondary things. In the end, it’s a sport, it's a show, and that's it. But health and family are essential things in anyone's life.”
How does this delay affect your headspace, when you were ready to start in Qatar?
“To be honest, I really wanted to race in Qatar. It was not easy when I first heard the news, because I was very focused on the start of the season. It is difficult to manage your head when you are suddenly told that you can’t do the thing you love most in life. But then you quickly realise the severity of the situation and you calm down. Patience is very important, and you just have to get into a good routine that allows you to be as strong as possible, both mentally and physically.”
In this sense, what changes have you made to your training regime considering that there is still no certain start date for the season?
“I haven't made any changes, except for not training with a motorbike. I'm still training hard and working on my physique. It is also an opportunity to improve my physical and mental capacity and take time to work on that.”
How much does this situation influence your day-to-day routine?
“It doesn’t really have much impact except, as I mentioned, not being able to leave home and train with a motorcycle. My life was already very focused on race preparation and I always spend a lot of time at home so nothing has changed dramatically.”
In the absence of a motorcycle, what is your best way to pass the time?
“Well, sincerely it is complicated because the bike is what drives me crazy! I just love it. Although I do enjoy training, apart from that I watch movies and series on Netflix and take a bit more time to be relaxed and chill out."
The situation with the MotoGP Championship is changing frequently. Does this rollercoaster of uncertainty make you feel bad?
“I try not to think too much about the changes to the calendar. Nothing is decided yet, things seem to change from one day to the next, and the evolution of the virus seems to be getting worse. I know that Dorna is doing a great job, I trust their management of the situation, and hopefully this will be over as soon as possible, and we can resume our normal life and get back on the bikes and back on track!”
“It will be a tough end to the season and especially tough from a mental point of view”
Because of the long delay, the last part of the MotoGP season will have a lot of races close together. How do you think this could affect the championship?
“Well, it will be a tough end to the season and we will have to make the most of each race, with little time to rest in between, and it will be especially tough from a mental point of view. Physically we can manage everything, but mentally it will put us all to the test. But as I mentioned, sport is secondary and the first thing to focus on is our health.”
Have you learned anything new or tried any different hobbies during this quarantine?
“Nothing in particular actually. I really like being at home and I’m just trying to make the most of it. I feel that we must set an example for everyone and stay at home for the sake of us all.”
Tell us what you felt watching the Moto3 and Moto2 races at Losail.
“It was all very strange, I felt very weird, normally I see those races from inside the circuit and I was not there. So strange, and difficult to explain…”
Would you like to send a message to all motorcycling fans who are looking forward to the start of the championship?
“I would like you not to despair! We are all going through difficult times and right now the most important thing is to fight and contain the virus, and once this happens, we will give full gas again and we can all enjoy motorcycling like never before!”