Joan Mir, fresh from a fourth place in the last GP of Catalunya (thanks also to the penalty of Quartararo) and currently fifth in the standings with 78 points, is preparing to tackle the German GP at Sachsenring on a track that could favour his Suzuki, whose main feature seems to be ease of riding and agility.
"I was strong on this track ever since I was just a rookie - he said - it seems that temperatures look like they are going to rise, so it will be interesting to race in these conditions. I feel ready to tackle the race on Sunday".
After the last GP at Barcelona you did some tests, do you already have in mind some changes to apply to the bike in view of the race?
"I haven't talked to the technicians in detail yet, so I can't say what specifically, but we have worked hard and will certainly make some changes to the setup in these days."
After this race and the next one in the Netherlands there will be a long summer break, how much will it affect the development of the bike?
"I know for a fact that in Japan they are working on the development of the bike and will continue to do so, so perhaps we will be able to see results already in the Austrian GP. The second half of the championship will probably depend on these results. As for me I will continue to give my best in every race, and with the improvements to come we hope to make up that margin that at the moment forces us to chase the leaders in the standings ".
Last week you were very critical about the incident with Quartararo's leathers, pointing the finger at the chest protector thrown on the track. Do you still think that the main problem was the lack of a black flag from the race direction?
"When I took part in the post-race interviews, I had only seen some images so I said that "from what I had seen" it seemed that Fabio had intentionally thrown the protector on the track. What I meant was that "if that were the case” it would have been a dangerous action for the other riders, I think anyone would have said the same thing. As for the leathers, obviously the danger was mainly for Fabio's safety, so it made me smile when it was thought that I was the cause of his penalty. I'm certainly not the type of person who needs to go and have the other drivers penalized in the race direction to gain points in the standings. I didn't want him to be penalized nor did I ask Suzuki to do it on my behalf, we just wanted to verify the situation. "
Mir: "Safety comes first, before the points, before the championship"
If it had happened to any of you riders you probably would have done the same, because basically this is what you riders do. So do you think that the race direction should intervene to save you from yourselves?
"I think it's necessary. I don't want to think about what might have happened if Fabio had crashed in those conditions. Safety comes first, before the points, before the championship."
In a recent interview, Jorge Lorenzo declared that he always raced because he loved to win rather than for the pleasure of riding a motorcycle. Is it the same for you?
"(Laughs) My pleasure comes first of all from speed. Of course if you are fast enough it is also possible to win, so in part I could agree with Jorge, I don't deny that I like winning and fighting for the title. On the other hand when I race in different contexts such as motocross, I think less about the results and more about the fun ".
Next year there will be eight Ducatis on the grid, and only two Suzukis. What do you think about that?
"For sure Suzuki will have its reasons for not wanting to invest in a satellite team. Of course, competing against eight Ducatis doesn't make me very happy but I think we'll be able to manage that situation too."
What if you had to give an opinion on this year's Mir-Suzuki duo?
"It's a good package, not as good as last year but with great potential. The goal is to keep improving in order to be very strong at the end of the championship."
Rins: "It was hard to get back in shape, I'm not 100% yet"
The Sachsenring will also see the return to racing of Alex Rins, considered "fit" to compete after the unfortunate bicycle accident that broke his arm and made him miss the GP of Catalunya.
"Last week it was difficult to get back in shape for the race. I can't say I'm 100% yet, I feel pain during braking but I hope things improve in the next few days."
Could the fact that the track has more left turns help you?
"I don't think the curves will be a problem, but I know I will suffer during braking, and in MotoGP you have to be 100% in every aspect to be able to compete. I would like to be able to fight for the championship but for now I will focus on my recovery race after race. "
The track looks really good for the Suzukis, so could the problem be qualifying?
"Last year I would have answered yes, but this year I feel I have a good feeling with the bike. Of course in my current condition I don't know how competitive I will be but I think Joan can do very well."