A strong Friday in Portimao saw Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir finish fourth in the opening day of AlgarveGP action.
Fresh from a well-needed week off, the 2020 Champion explained that the title defence had kept his motivation going but with the championship decided last time out at Misano, Mir needed to refresh his batteries ahead of the final back-to-back.
“After Misano, I stay one week off because I needed to take again good batteries,” Mir said after a promising Friday in Portugal. “Is for you maybe sound normal, one week off but for me, it's a long time that I don't stay one week off training and off motorbikes. From December last year that I didn't stay out of training for one week,” he explained.
“It's because I need it, I was like mentally a bit collapsed after such two difficult Grand Prix in a row. So after that break, come back here and be again competitive means is fine. It's only the first day but I again feel charged and fully ready to make a good weekend, motivated, that is the most important thing.
“When I won last year, we finished the season in Portimao and on Tuesday, I was training motocross,” he continued. “So mentally the title gave me an extra motivation to try to repeat again and to be more hungry. This is pressure that I put to myself and that's why normally I don't feel a lot of pressure from the outside, because my pressure is much higher than that pressure from the outside.
“I stay one week off in December but then I always trained and mentally was only focused to be better, to try to improve, everything. The end of the season is coming and I needed that week off to try to disconnect a little bit more and to make the last two races on the best of my performance. So it's something that I needed and is something strange that normally don’t happen to me in a couple of years, this these type of things. It's important to be really good on the trainings, to always train well but also it's really good to rest, is also as important as train. So this in that area I think that I have to improve a bit more.
“Straight away the feeling was quite okay with the bike, so this make the day a little bit more easy than normal and I'm happy,” the Suzuki rider said as he reflected on Friday practice.
“First day done. I feel okay so let's try to qualify the best we can, we will try to focus on that second row if it's possible, or who knows.
No, I'm not fully agree,” he said on if this was his best Friday of the season. “I think that from Aragon then we move to Misano one, in that period we made some steps and we've been always like this. Then in Austin and Misano two, we lose a little bit the way, due to the conditions and everything, the rain and all this stuff. We came back here as a normal Friday again, and we show again the potential. This is how I see this day, was positive.
“I always go in the limit but today one camera was waiting for me,” he said of his morning turn 13 near highside. “So this is the difference and yeah, happy to stay in one piece after that one!
“As a rider I have to finish the season in the best form possible. So now I'm focused in these two races to try to do as best as I can. If this is enough to overtake Pecco [Bagnaia] on the standings, I will try. We have to be realistic, Pecco is doing a really good end of the season and probably is the strongest one at the moment. So it will be difficult but if I'm able to finish the season with two good results, I will be more confident for next year, with a better package to try to fight from the minute one. So this is my thinking.”