Five things about MotoGP world champion Joan Mir
Valencia (Spain) (AFP) –
Five things about Joan Mir after the Spaniard won the 2020 MotoGP world title in Valencia on Sunday:
Ready, steady, go
-- Mir's championship has been a model of consistency with three second places and three thirds before a maiden win last week helped earn him enough points to win the title with a GP to spare. There were no pole positions and no fastest laps, but the 171 points has done the trick.
-- Mir first rode a motorcycle at a nearby track aged six, under the watchful eye of his father. He was also a keen lover of skates and skateboards. But motorbikes were his real love and his hero growing up was Italy's Valentino Rossi, the seven-time MotoGP champion who is still racing in the series.
Nadal an example to follow
-- Mir is a native of Mallorca, from where tennis giant Rafael Nadal also hails, and Mir says the 20-time Grand Slam winner has served as an example.
"If there is someone I admire for their behaviour, it is my countryman, Rafa Nadal. A real superstar from whom we can learn many values and approaches for facing both competition and daily life," Mir says on his website.
Marquez absence not a factor
-- Mir insisted that this world championship was just as valuable without injured defending champion Marc Marquez, who won his maiden title when a senior rider was absent.
"Something similar happened to Marquez's first world title, when (Dani) Pedrosa and (Jorge) Lorenzo were injured. But that doesn't mean the world title is less valuable," said Mir.
Marquez, a six-time champion in the elite class, crashed in the season-opener in Jerez in July and sat out the rest of the campaign to recover from surgery on his broken right arm.
Suzuki's 20-year wait over
-- Mir delivered Suzuki's first MotoGP title in 20 years. America's Kenny Roberts Jr was the last champion for the Japanese manufacturer in 2000.
© 2020 AFP