Christina bulpett |
Photo: GeeBee Images
A strong Friday in Portimao saw Joan Mir of Suzuki Ecstar finish fourth on the opening day of the AlgarveGP action.
After a well-deserved week off, the 2020 champion explained that the title defense had kept his motivation going, but with the championship decided last time at Misano, Mir needed to refresh his batteries ahead of the consecutive final.
“After Misano I have a week off because I needed to get some good batteries back,” said Mir after a promising Friday in Portugal. “Does it seem normal to you, a week off, but for me, it’s been a long time since I went a week without training and without motorcycles. From December of last year, I didn’t stay out of training for a week, ”he explained.
“It’s because I need it, I was kind of mentally broke after two such difficult Grands Prix in a row. So after that break come back here and be competitive again, that’s good. It’s only the first day but I feel charged again and ready to have a good weekend, motivated, that’s the most important.
“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 extra motivation to try to repeat again and be hungrier. It is a pressure that I put on myself and that is why normally I do not feel a lot of pressure from the outside, because my pressure is much higher than this pressure from the outside.
“I have a week off in December, but I always trained and mentally I was only focused to be better, to try to improve myself, everything. The end of the season is approaching and I needed this week of rest to try to disconnect a little more and to do the last two races at the best of my performance. So it’s something that I needed and it’s something weird that normally doesn’t happen to me in a few years, that sort of thing. It’s important to be really good at training, to always train well but also it’s really good to rest, it’s as important as training. So in this area I think I need to improve myself a bit more.
“Right off the bat it was pretty good on the bike so it made the day a little easier than usual and I’m happy,” said the Suzuki rider reflecting on Friday practice.
“First day over. I feel good so let’s try to qualify as best we can, we’ll try to focus on that second row if we can, or who knows.
No, I don’t quite agree, ”he said on whether it was his best Friday of the season. “I think from Aragon we then move on to Misano, during that period we have taken a few steps and we have always been like that. Then in Austin and Misano two, we lose our way a little bit, because of the conditions and everything, the rain and all that. We came back here like a normal Friday and we are showing the potential again. That’s how I see this day, it was positive.
“I’m still going to the limit, but today I had a camera waiting for me,” he said of his early morning turn 13 near the top. “So that’s the difference and yes, happy to stay in one piece after that one!”
“As a driver, I have to end the season in the best possible shape. So now I’m focused on these two races to try to do the best I can. If that’s enough to overtake Pecco [Bagnaia] in the standings, I will try. We have to be realistic, Pecco is having a very good end to the season and is probably the strongest at the moment. So it will be difficult but if I manage 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 first minute. So this is my reflection. “