Suzuki Press Office
What is the hardest part of winter, the weather or the inactivity?
The hardest thing I think is inactivity. Without MotoGP you lack something, the races, even if you train a lot it’s not the same.
How do you fill your time during the winter break?
There is not so much time off. Basically, I spend the whole day training, preparing myself, so that when we get to Sepang I’ll be in good shape and we can do some good testing.
Are you the type of guy who likes to escape to the sun or do you prefer mountains?
A little bit of both. I like the mountains a lot but my passion has always been the sea so I have a divided heart!
Tell us what gifts you got for Christmas...
A few ... Let me think ... Yes, a Google speaker which helps me to do housework! My mother gave it to me so I can be a little more organized day by day.
What is the hardest thing about going back to work?
It's a bit hard to be away from home but well, I'm lucky to work with what I love and that's why it doesn’t trouble me.
Are you biting your nails counting the days until the 2019 MotoGP World Championship?
Yes. I really want to start, and be back in racing mode. But it’s good to disconnect a little bit and reset in the winter, take a break, analyze the previous year and prepare for the new year with more strength.
Tell me, what’s your aim for this new season…
To learn and improve race by race.
Can you reveal something new for this year? Something about your livery or leathers…
I can’t tell you much. I’m continuing with my military style design line. It's an American marine type of thing, there are some new things and I hope to be able to show them soon.
Do you dare to tell us how many kilos you’ve put on during vacation?
I have not put on any ... Well, yes, I gained one because I needed more muscle, but I still have to gain another one. Little by little I'm gaining. Step by step.
What have you been able to do this winter that you usually cannot because of your professional career?
I have been able to go skiing which is something that can not be done during the season. And it's what I like to do most in winter. Also being with my family, that is very important.
In the absence of MotoGP, the best way to entertain yourself is ...
Being with family.
Ski or snowboard?
Fireplace or heating?
How much have you missed your GSX-RR?
So much, so much…
How much do you think the bike will have grown during winter in Hamamatsu?
I hope it has not grown much, that it remains the same and that if it has been changed it is only in terms of power and not in dimensions.
What would you ask from the 2019 GSX-RR?
I would ask for a lot of horsepower, hard braking, and very good turning... a little bit of everything! I have not tried the other versions of the GSX-RR, but the contact I had with the 2019 prototype I rode at the end of last year left me feeling very happy and very satisfied with how I was doing.
Have you ever named your motorcycle? Will you do it this year?
No, I've never given it a name. I don’t know, I have to think about it, we'll see ...
What’s the most impressive thing about riding the GSX-RR?
I think that the most impressive thing is the power of the motorcycle and the speed you reach with this bike. Due to the low weight it feels quite similar to a Moto2 bike, so the main difference is in the power.
As a rookie, is it scary to enter the first race without fully knowing the bike?
Man, it doesn’t scare you! But obviously yes, you think a lot about how you’ll adapt to the bike. In each category what makes the most difference is the ability to adapt quickly to the bike and to the tires ... and to know how the top class works. We must also analyze how the others are riding and how to get closer to them.
People usually say that the rookies don’t have any pressure. Does this allow you to ‘sneak in’ as an outsider?
Well, the statement that rookies have no pressure is not necessarily true... You always have pressure, there is always something that makes you nervous. But it is true that not all the pressure is bad, there is also a positive part that helps you to improve day by day, that something in your stomach that pushes you to improve yourself. And yes you are a little bit hidden because no-one puts very high expectations on rookies like they do with more experienced riders, and that is where we have to prove them wrong…
Being realistic, what is your goal for the 2019 season?
Being realistic, this year's goal is to gradually improve, start in Qatar with a good performance and end the year improving race by race. I need to adapt to the bike, the team, the category, and start to close the gap with the riders in front. That’s the most important thing.
After the two tests you’ve done with the team, from a technical point of view, where do you think you can improve?
The truth is that the tests were very good, better than I expected, I was very pleased with the bike and I was able to ride very well. I don’t think there is an area where I have to improve a lot, just a tiny amount in each aspect, because we didn’t lose a chunk of time in one single area, but a little bit in each section. However, everything was very positive in general.
What advice would you ask from your teammate, who is more experienced in the top class?
Obviously, he has many tips to give, but not every piece of advice is applicable because it comes from the experiences he has lived. I don’t think there’s a magic wand to go fast - just time, experience, and hard work.
Joan Mir Profile
Joan Mir Mayrata (Palma de Mallorca, 1997) has not had the archetypal career path into MotoGP. In fact, his beginnings in motorcycling came much later than that of his rivals in the road racing championships. His first motorcycle was a Polini when he was 6 years old, until he received a small Honda QR as a gift one year later. But unusually, his family didn’t have an excessive fervor for bikes - everyone around him was more into off-road riding than on track, and most were enthusiastic about other sports. His father Joan, in fact, owns a skating shop in Mallorca, so little Joan grew up surrounded by skateboard decks.
It was not until he saw his cousin Joan Perelló, who was in the Stop & Go team in the World Championship, that he became fascinated with speed. An admirer of his countryman Rafael Nadal, Joan admitted in an interview that "like Rossi, I do not look up to anyone". And yet, paradoxically, his first experience of racing at the track arrived at Chicho Lorenzo’s school, where he remained for a year. From there he moved to the Balearic Motorcycling Federation’s school in 2009. There someone discovered that Joan had more to offer than just his enthusiastic smile. It’s also where he met Daniel Vadillo, who advises him and has accompanied him to each race since then. "We saw that he had something different," recalls Dani.
He then started the adventure of the Bankia Cup in the XL 160 category, in 2011. The Mallorcan won the crown with two races left before the championship came to a permanent close. Then came the MotoGP PreGP 125 Cup, the next step in the arduous climb to the World Championship, and Joan did not hold back, securing another title. In 2012, Joan headed to the Red Bull Rookies Cup where he completed two seasons; 2013-2014. During the first year of adaptation, the Balearic rider finished 9th in the general standings while in the second year he finished runner-up after a very close battle with Spaniard Jorge Martín.
A somewhat turbulent 2015 arrived, in which some challenging circumstances arose. Joan, already prepared to start his career in the FIM CEV Championship, was left out because the Leopard Racing team cancelled the project at the last moment. Joan and his entourage got in touch with rider manager Paco Sánchez, and he helped the youngster to complete the CEV championship with a Ioda bike in the Team Machado but finally supported by Leopard Racing team. Then, just as the season was reaching its end and Joan was on vacation, he received a call from Leopard Racing team again, they wanted him to replace Japan’s Hiroki Ono, injured, at the Australian Grand Prix. A wild card appearance that was worth its weight in gold. After a low key debut Joan, who was 15th on the grid at Phillip Island, got a rocket start and placed himself in the lead group, but crashed out whilst in 4th. He had nevertheless left his mark. Leopard recognised his achievement and recruited him for the 2016 season.
And so it was that the World Championship officially welcomed Joan Mir in 2016. And he quickly proved his worth; in Austria Joan surprised everyone with a superb race that gave him his first victory and his debut podium in the category. He finished the championship in fifth position, as Rookie of the Year, after getting three podiums, one pole, and two fastest laps. It turned out to be the perfect warm up for the 2017 season - 10 wins, 13 podiums, and a dominant title campaign. His strength and talent were clear and the Mallorcan won the Moto3 crown. An ideal way to graduate to Moto2…
He entered Moto2 with Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS. Adapting quickly, Joan seemed competitive from the beginning and onlookers sensed a podium was coming. He did indeed secure his first Moto2 podium in France, and soon after in Italy. However, his promising start fizzled out a little for various reasons. All in all, Joan finished the season in 6th position and was awarded as Rookie of the Year just one day before testing in Valencia - his first experience riding the GSX-RR with the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR, with which he will compete two upcoming seasons.