Mir: “No difference” to feeling on track as MotoGP world champion

Suzuki’s Joan Mir says there is “no difference” to how he felt on track during Portuguese Grand Prix practice now he is MotoGP world champion.

Mir made history in last weekend’s Valencia GP when he scored his maiden MotoGP title and Suzuki’s first in 20 years, doing so in just his fifth season in world championship racing.

The Suzuki rider ended MotoGP’s first outing at the Algarve International Circuit on Friday sixth overall, 0.315 seconds off the best pace set by Avintia’s Johann Zarco.

Mir admits his approach to what he does on track has not changed now he is champion, but says the “immense pressure” on him has been lifted and he can be “more free”.

“On track there’s no difference,” he replied when asked if racing this weekend as world champion altered his approach.

“The only difference that is that I have a different type of pressure.

“The pressure of before was more intense and now I’m more free just to focus on the riding.

“Of course, I want to keep the hundred percent and the pressure that I have is my goal is to give Suzuki the constructors’ Mir: “No difference” to feeling on track as MotoGP world champion.

“So, to get the constructors’ we have to make a good weekend.

“And to do it you have to forget about the world championships and a lot of things, you have to be focused on the riding.”

Mir branded the Algarve track as “unbelievable”, but has pinpointed electronics as a key area to work on going forward into the rest of the weekend.

“It was good. I enjoyed a lot today, it is an unbelievable track, I enjoy it a lot,” he added.

“What’s really important is to fix the electronics, get the electronics to work and to put the setting in a good way, because there’s a lot of work to do electronically.

“But overall, I feel I feel strong and I feel happy.”

His Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins was 17th after FP2 following a crash at the session, and admits he was “struggling” with some pain on the right shoulder he badly injured at the Spanish GP.

“It was a good day,” Rins began.

“I mean FP1 was quite nice, we did like a good pace, good rhythm. FP2 was a disaster because I had this small crash on the beginning of the session in the third lap.

“I think it was the first crash on the right side since the injury and I have a bit of pain on the shoulder, but nothing important.

“I was struggling during all the FP2 with this pain on the right corners, but let’s try to do a bit of recovery for tomorrow.”

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