Suzuki rider Joan Mir has admitted he rides his bike in an ‘unnatural’ way during qualifying sessions.

It is well known that Suzuki are weak when it comes to one-lap pace, only winning the titles last season thanks to supreme tire management. In fact, Joan Mir’s title win last season was the first in almost 30 years without a single pole position.

In both rounds so far this season, Mir has had to go through Q1 and burn a set of tires to get into the top 10 for the race, which indirectly hurts the rest of the weekend due to needing another set of tires.

In typical Mir style though, he raced his way into the leading group both times, being denied a podium with mere meters to go in the first round at Losail three weeks ago. Now though, Suzuki can no longer rely on the race performances, as Marc Marquez will be back in Portimao and could go back to his ways of picking the field apart and dominating.

Mir said in an interview that Suzuki needed to find the one lap pace to get into the top two rows of the grid.

“We have a lot of work to do. We are far away but we are getting closer and we know the areas we have to improve because it’s really difficult for me to make a good laptime. I have to ride in a different way and it’s not really natural for me to ride in this way to make the laptime.”

“I’m a lot more nervous and a lot more stressed on Saturday than normally on Sunday. It’s something that we have to fix because it’s not normal to be really far from our rivals in one-lap pace. In the end, if you see the race pace we are always really good, we ride in a really good way. But what is not normal is our rivals are able to improve one and a half seconds. So, it’s something that we have to work on that.”

“Also, the natural style, it is not helping me, my natural style. I’m normally really aggressive and normally to make a lap time you have to be aggressive. You have to push, but in the end, you have to be aggressive on the brakes and it’s something that I have. But with this bike, you have to be really smooth and really relaxed.”

Joan Mir sits sixth in the title fight with two rounds down as MotoGP heads to Portimao this weekend.

Journalist, writing various articles for ASN. MotoGP specialist and ASN's resident motorsports history nerd. Can generally be found screaming at stupid strategy choices while watching the tv.