The two Suzuki riders are preparing to tackle the Assen circuit in the Netherlands, in what will be the last race of the championship before the summer break. Joan Mir, 2020 world champion, is currently fifth in the standings with 85 points behind the Ducati of Bagnaia after an unsatisfactory result in the last Sachsenring GP.
"I don't want to create too many expectations, we will try to do well in the next few days for Sunday's race. It is too early to talk about performance, on paper the circuit should be favourable but we will have confirmation in the practice before the race".
The last time you raced at Assen you were a rookie and finished eighth. Now you come back here with a world title on your shoulders, what will be the main difficulty?
"It's true, in the past I got a good result here and I have good memories. I like the track, it will be fun to race here again. I didn't have a good feeling with the bike at Sachsenring, so I hope to get good results here in Assen before the summer break. "
The track has new asphalt and it seems that track conditions will make it unlikely that hard compounds will be used. Could this be an advantage?
"Luckily, Assen is not a track that puts the tires to the test like last week at the Sachsenring, and with medium compounds the bike generally goes very well, I'm optimistic but I want to stay cautious and wait for the next few days to see in what conditions we will race".
You said you didn't want to create too many expectations, and this season is definitely different from last year. In the last few races the Ducatis and Yamahas have proven to be very competitive, at Sachsenring it was thought that you would have achieved good results but it was not so, will we see something different here in Assen?
"This championship has taught me that in this sport it is better not to create expectations. Ducati and KTM above all have made big steps forward in the development of the bikes, so I just want to concentrate on doing well by giving my best, without pressure creating unnecessary expectations".
Rins: "I think I can do well, the pain in my arm has decreased a lot"
While his teammate is cautious, this is not the attitude of Alex Rins, who is anxious to get back in the game after an unfortunate series of races full of crashes and an injury that temporarily limited his performance.
"My arm is still there! - joked the Spaniard - but seriously, the pain has decreased a lot, not 100% but definitely less than in the last race. I think I can do well, but to be sure we will see during practice in the next few days, the circuit is completely different from last week ".
This track should favour Suzuki and the choice of tires should also be more congenial, what chance does Suzuki have at Assen?
"Personally, I love this circuit, the track conditions are good and the temperatures are very different from those of the Sachsenring, so yes, we could have some advantages but we'll know more with the first tests tomorrow."
What is so special about this track?
"Actually it's not just the track, the cycle paths I go on around the circuit are also fantastic, I'm not joking. As for the track, it's fast, it has fast corners and slow corners, it's a very special circuit. "
After what you've been through and the not-so-exciting results in the last few races, how important is it to do well here before the summer break?
"Five weeks off is a long time, so it would be better to enjoy them with a smile doing well here in Assen, perhaps with a podium".
A couple of weeks ago in Barcelona, your teammate Mir complained that he was left alone and that improvements to the bike from the development team were slow in coming. Do you think the same way?
"Suzuki is certainly working hard on the 'holeshot' device, I don't know for sure where they are, but I'm sure that being Japanese we want to make sure the job is done well and that it brings the results everyone expects. The bike anyway is okay, the improvements will come. "
However, it must be admitted that every race that passes without these improvements makes your position worse in the championship.
"It is true that in some tracks the difference in the bikes has done a lot, but it is not the only determining factor of a race".
Have you already tested the holeshot device?
"Not yet, but we are pretty sure we can use it in the next race in Austria."