Yeah, you heard that right, it is MORE impressive, not less because of a lack of Marquez.
If you look in any comment section on social media regarding Joan Mir’s championship win, you are nearly guaranteed to find some bitter keyboard warrior moaning saying that Joan Mir’s title isn’t a ‘true title’ (whatever that is) and that he only won the title because Marc Marquez crashed out.
You see, the thing is, this is widely incorrect, anyone who has a brain not made of cheese knows that, if anything, the title is made even more impressive due to the lack of Marc Marquez as Mir has majorly had to work his butt off to win the title.
Since the MotoGP era begun after the 500cc era died (we miss you two strokes), MotoGP has had a total of 6 different champions, namely Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez and now Joan Mir.
If you know anything about Joan Mir from 2017 and even prior, you will know he is a huge talent. Winning 4/6 opening races in his debut 2015 CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship season, he eventually faded to fourth overall, but when you really look into why, it’s fairly obvious.
Joan Mir in 2015
He rode 3 different motorcycles in 2015, riding the first 6 races on a Honda before moving to the Ioda Honda, which was not identical meaning he had to adjust, before then riding a KTM in the last 2 races, taking a podium in race 1 at Valencia, he rode a KTM as this would be the bike he would be riding in 2016 in the Moto3 world championship, a season where he took his first race win in the class as a rookie before setting the class on fire in 2017 with 10 wins and the Moto3 world championship, a hugely dominant performance.
It is more than safe to say that Mir has talent, anyone who has followed his career knows this, he was even pipped by Marc Marquez, Andrea Dovizioso and Maverick Vinales to do great things following his 2017 title.
Therefore, it is no surprise he is the top man in 2020 after an incredibly consistent season which saw him become the premier class champion with just a single win, beating the record of 2 set by Nicky Hayden in 2006, plus winning the premier class in only his 5th season on the world stage, to put this into perspective, it took Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez 6 seasons to win the premier class title.
With Marc Marquez out of the picture in 2020, every single rider on the grid massively stepped up their game as they all had the belief that they could be the champion, this made it 10 x harder for every single rider out there, Marquez’s absence did not make it easier, otherwise Andrea Dovizioso, the rider who was runner up to Marquez 3 seasons in a row, would’ve run away with the title no questions asked, so why is it that he is sat in 6th in the standings with a 46 point gap to Mir?
2020 has been the hardest year for every rider so far, not only were they battling on track, but they were also doing their hardest not to contract COVID-19 which completely ruined the title chances of Moto2 rider Jorge Martin when he was forced to sit out of two races after a positive diagnosis.
Joan Mir, 2020 MotoGP World Champion
Consistency has played a huge part in 2020, there are two riders who have won three races this season, Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo, therefore you’d think they would be the title fighters, but this is not the case at all, their inconsistency has played into the hands of Joan Mir who has been the most consistent rider of them all in 2020.
This season has been one of the closest ever, with 9 different winners on the scoreboard including KTM’s first race win with rookie Brad Binder then Miguel Oliveira also doing the same on the Tech3 KTM, giving them their first-ever premier class race win.
For anyone to win the title, they must be better than all the rest, this includes Marc Marquez, who rode over his limit in the season opener at Jerez and ruined his entire season, this was the wrongdoing of Marquez and no other rider, every rider on the grid can get injured and miss an entire season, it is not something only specific to Marquez, therefore, why should this mean Mir’s title means any less, does that mean Lorenzo’s 2010 title means any less? Or what about Kevin Schwantz in 1993 when Rainey’s racing career came to an abrupt and tragic stop at Misano?
Given how tough the season has been for Mir with every rider upping their game 5 or 6 levels, plus having to worry about COVID-19 and not getting himself injured, he truly deserves to be the title, plus without Marc Marquez, it is even more impressive given the level all the riders rose to and the pressure riders were under to produce results which saw Fabio Quartararo crack.
Featured image – www.motogp.com