Suzuki World MotoGP team’s defending champion Joan Mir goes into the 2021 MotoGP championship aiming to claim back-to-back championships. The Spaniard has taken a single victory and including seven podium finishes ending the season on 171 points.

How does 2021 look after the long winter break?

JOAN MIR: Well, I guess it’s been good for us. I have tried to prepare myself even better than last year. Physically I am feeling very well, I have had time to rest and to train. I am enjoying this moment a lot because I really like the pre-season time and pushing to be as prepared as possible. But I’m also really looking forward to starting, with new motivations like trying to fight for the title again and trying to ride as well as last year.

Q: The beginning of the season has been quite strange for the team when everybody learned that Davide Brivio was leaving, so how did you receive the news?

JM: I found out by phone, but I was on vacation and I thought it was a joke! The truth is that I wish Davide the best because I have a very special affection for him. But I’m not worried about his leaving because I fully trust the team. I know that everyone who is part of it is very capable and we won’t feel his absence.

Q: How do you think this change might affect the team?

JM: I don’t know. I want to think that it will not affect anything because within the team there are very professional people. Also, Suzuki’s top management are really bright people, so I am feeling very calm.

Q: Does the winter break have a different feel when you’re champion?

JM: Yes, 100%, because you feel great satisfaction for a job well done. But of course, this year will be more difficult. Last year the pressure was focused on progressing as a rider and consolidating my performances in MotoGP, but this year it has changed. Now I have to be in front and try to defend the title, fight for it, from the beginning. Now the target is podiums every race, or at least battling for them. Whereas, last year at this point, it was enough for us to be aiming for Top-5 finishes.

Q: How have you spent your time in the last two months?

JM: I have invested time in myself, spending time with my girlfriend, with my family. During the season, all of us who work in this world know, we have very little time to be at home, so being with my loved ones is very much appreciated. I also had to force myself to take a short vacation because I was too motivated to train all the time! I have also invested time in improving my skills as a rider, of course.

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