It could be argued that the most disappointed finisher in the first MotoGP race of the year – because he missed out on a podium in the sprint to the line – was Joan Mir but he was actually smiling at the end of the Qatar GP.
"Today's race was very positive - said Mir - I finally found the sensations of last season on the bike, I needed time, maybe a little too much, but I managed it. I tried to manage the tires as best I could and then push in the final part, and it was a shame not to get on the podium but next week I'll have another chance ".
On the last lap you overtook Zarco and were then passed by the Frenchman and Pecco Bagnaia in the sprint to the line. In the last corner you went wide, a mistake or a strategy?
“The plan was not to overtake Zarco to finish on the podium. But there was an opportunity and I passed him even though I knew I would have two very angry Ducatis behind me. At the last corner I tried to widen to get more speed at the end of the straight but it didn't help much. I expected one Ducati in the sprint, not two, but Bagnaia was there all the time ”.
You said you finally found the right sensations on the Suzuki. What changed compared to yesterday?
"Yes, I would say that you saw how nervous I was yesterday, I wanted to break everything inside the garage but my parents taught me that this is not the right way to behave. That's how I am: I am very calm when things go well while I get very angry when something is wrong and yesterday I couldn't stop the bike. Between yesterday evening and today we changed something in the set-up of the bike and also in some other details and it went better, and now I’m smiling. Moreover, this year I also have a support that replicates the classic shape of the tank and that allows me to work more with my legs under braking, the way I like it ".
Alex Rins: "Problems at the start"
On the other side of the Suzuki garage Alex Rins had to settle for sixth position behind Quartararo. During the race the Spaniard looked as if he was faster than Mir but something went wrong.
“The problems began at the start - said Alex - I forgot to activate the launch control and I had to manage all the power of the bike without electronic aids, it was complicated. Then I pushed hard to make up for all the time and the positions lost and halfway through the race I felt really good on the bike. However, to be able to get back on, I used up the tires too much and I also wasted time in looking for the correct point to overtake Miller ”.
What are the sensations for next week? What can be improved and who will the favourites be?
“First I will try to remember to activate the launch control, then we will see what the race strategy is because I know I have the pace of the best. Today I would have liked Bagnaia to resist Vinales a little longer because I knew that he would have had the opportunity to escape. For next week the Ducatis and Vinales will surely be in the game and Morbidelli too, I don't know what happened to him in the race but Franco will also be able to fight for the victory ”.