Joan Mir's run-up to the title tomorrow in Valencia will start from the 12th place on the starting grid. Not the best place, but for Suzuki’s Spanish rider qualifying didn't go in the best way. Making the situation less complicated than one might fear is the fact that his closest rivals in the standings had similar problems. So Quartararo will start alongside and Rins the next row back.
“I can't say it was a bad day - underlined Joan - I improved my pace and I'm happy with that, but I don't know exactly what happened in qualifying. On the bike I didn't have good sensations and I lacked grip, the rear was sliding a lot. I was unable to push and do a good lap, I know there were different track conditions but other riders managed to set good times. It is not the first time that I start further back, it is not what I prefer but it is not even the end of the world ".
Anyone who thinks that Mir will race tomorrow with the calculator in hand is wrong. The Spaniard has no intention of changing his approach to the race.
"The important thing will be to go on the attack and not race defensively - he said - My mentality is always to give my best, logically using your head because I don't want to do anything stupid".
His strategy is clear…
“I know I have a good pace, being able to get on the podium or close is not a dream but a realistic possibility - he explained - So it will be important to start well, make up positions and be able to set my pace. In this sense, the first lap will be crucial, once it’s over I'll see what my position will be and I'll think about whether to think about the championship or not ”.
The biggest risk of starting in the middle of the group is to be involved in some incident…
“The risks are there, it is a MotoGP race after all – is his philosophy - But the first corner of Valencia is less dangerous than that of Aragon, because it is further away from the start and has a wider radius. It's a point where you can gain or lose a lot of time ”.
And then, as mentioned, Fabio and Alex will be in the same situation as him…
“This gives me greater peace of mind - admitted Joan - I don't deny that this is a more complicated weekend, you feel more pressure, but I’m trying to stay calm. I'll probably wake up more nervous than usual in the morning. It's not a bad feeling, but I would like to bring things to an end quickly ”.
Without getting lost in abstruse calculations, Mir just needs to finish ahead of Quartararo and Rins. Morbidelli's hopes of keeping the battle open are very difficult, even if he wins, with a 45-point disadvantage. The only pity is that he will not be able to rejoice with his fans, as the GP is behind closed doors.
"If there were an audience I would have even more pressure, but I'd still prefer it to be able to celebrate with them," he said.