MALLORCAN MotoGP rider Joan Mir has clinched the 2020 MotoGP title at the Valencian Grand Prix, ending Suzuki’s 20-year championship drought.
Ecstar Suzuki’s Mir, 23, took the chequered flag in a safe seventh, managing to clinch enough points to claim the title with one race to spare.
“Unbelievable. I don’t have words to describe this emotion because it’s something that I’ve been fighting for all my life,” said Mir in the press conference.
“I’m really, really happy. You can’t believe, because when you follow one dream all your life and finally you achieve it, at the moment I don’t believe what is happening.
“I need some time now to relax to understand what happened because I don’t have words.”
Mir was by far the most consistent rider during the 2020 campaign, taking five podiums and a single victory in Valencia at the European GP.
During the second half of the truncated 2020 season, the GSX-RR machine has also proved to be the most rideable and consistent on the grid, with many rivals citing team boss Davide Brivio’s relationship between the Italian based team and the factory in Japan for its success this year.
Yamaha rivals, Valentino Rossi and Fabio Quartararo have called the GSX-RR a ‘perfect bike’, with Rossi claiming Suzuki took a giant leap forward as the Yamaha squad took a massive step back.
“The bike has changed a lot, in 2017 we took a bad engine option. Then we changed the engine, we changed the chassis, the aerodynamics, everything.” said Alex Rins, Mir’s teammate.
Responding to claims that this year’s championship was ‘devalued’ due to the absence of Marc Marquez, Mir responded: “People who say this, it’s because they do not know much about motorcycles. Marc is not here because they have kidnapped him, he is not here because he made a mistake pushing for the win.”
Mir’s victory marks Suzuki’s first title since Kenny Roberts Jr took his RGV500 to the top step in 2000, and joins an elite group of Suzuki winners including Barry Sheene, Marco Luchinelli and Kevin Schwantz.
Sunday’s results also clinched Suzuki the teams’ title on the company’s 100th Anniversary with teammate Rins taking a hard fought fourth.
Suzuki are now level in points in the manufacturer’s championship with Italian rivals Ducati, who endured mixed results at the weekend.
Mir entered the premier class just last year as a rookie, after a sole year in Moto2 and taking the title for Leopard Honda after two years in Moto3.