It’s the end of the year, so it’s time to take stock of the past and draw up the good intentions for the future. This applies to everyone, including Joan Mir, the 2020 MotoGP world champion who this year saw Fabio Quartararo knock him off the top slot without ever being able to fight with him. It is not all the Spaniard's fault, because his Suzuki failed to maintain the same level as the best of the competition and the challenge of defending his crown proved to be impossible.
Even in difficult moments, however, everyone can grow and that's exactly what Mir did, as he wrote in his blog.
“The time has finally come to shut off from the racing world a little bit and try to relax! It’s something I find hard to do because I’m the type of person who is always active and wanting to do things. But this year I learned the importance of balancing the stress of racing with the need to stay calm and take time out. The truth is, these moments of relaxation will be part of my preparation for 2022 and it’s just as important as training in the gym. I’ll take a couple of weeks just to enjoy the things. I’m lucky to have, and then I’ll switch my attention to jumping on a bike. Until I can be reunited with my GSX-RR, I’ll be training with the Supermoto and MX bikes, and even driving a kart – those things all help a lot with my technique and skills, I learn something every time, and they also contribute to keeping my fitness at a prime level.
"In general I feel like I picked up lots of useful things this year, for example, one key thing was just to fight. During this 2021 season I fought really hard to try and take a good result at the end of the year and in the process I learned; always fight hard and never give up. Even in difficult years I try to take good results and make the best of every situation. And even if this year wasn’t brilliant for us, I really enjoyed the comebacks, the good fights and overtakes. And I’m pleased to have finished 3rd in the Riders’ Championship against some tough competitors.
"All this talk of battling on track is making me excited to ride the 2022 GSX-RR again. The Jerez test went well for us, and soon we’ll be back on the bike in Sepang. My first impressions of the improvements were good, and it makes me keen to start the fight again. But, as well as enjoying my time on the bike, it will be important to see what the team bring and discover what works and what we might still be lacking. Until we’ve finished testing it’s hard to make an accurate assessment of the bike, it’s important to improve our speed without losing the great turning ability of the GSX-RR. Improving grip is another interesting and important area. And the ride height device, although already good, needs some fine tuning. In the end, there is not one thing to change or ‘fix’ on our bike; in MotoGP you have to constantly develop all areas and move forward. I have confidence that we can do that. There are other things to look forward to next year too, such as having more fans back at the tracks. For me, 2020 for me was a perfect year… all except for not having the fans around. So now to see people coming back is what gives sense to all of this racing world. It was so strange to race around the circuits with empty grandstands and silence except for the noise of our bikes.
"My New Year’s resolution list would have a few things; but the main one is that I want to fight again to win the title. That will always be my focus and my ultimate goal, and it’s something that won’t change until I stop racing … and for sure I would like to get a title, victories and podiums, and share all those moments with the passionate and supportive fans.”