Mir’s 2020 title defence was a difficult affair last year, as a lack of development with the GSX-RR meant he could only come up with third in the standings and just six podiums.
The reaction so far to its 2022 bike has been much more positive from both Mir and team-mate Alex Rins, with the latter fourth overall at the end of the two-day Sepang test.
Mir was 12th fastest – albeit just 0.398 seconds off the pace – after he was unable to improve on a scrappy time attack effort on Sunday morning before rain fell in the afternoon.
Nevertheless, the Suzuki rider feels the bike’s top speed has been “clearly improved” – though says “there’s work to do” in Indonesia this weekend despite the GSX-RR being almost ready.
“Yes, we are close, we are happy,” Mir said on Sunday.
“We improved clearly our top speed, we are there in the middle, which is really, really important.
“We know that we have a fast race bike, but always to fight with the Ducatis and these guys with the engine that we had, it was difficult to overtake.
“And it was the same story in all the races, it’s always a little bit difficult.
“A little bit more power is a big help for me, and I expect only with this advantage [to be] a lot better.
“I’m satisfied, I’m not super happy because there’s work to do. But everything is [good], but I’m satisfied about everything. I can say that I’m happy.”
Mir explained that the character of the new Suzuki engine – which was first tried in Qatar pre-season testing last year – is identical to that of the 2020 version raced last year due to COVID cost-cutting measures.
However, he wouldn’t be drawn into specifics about where the 2022 engine was better, simply stating: “The character is the same, but on the bike alone you don’t feel.
“But you feel it on the data, when you follow someone. [Is there] more rpm, I don’t know.”