Joan Mir has found himself back in contention for the MotoGP title.
Joan Mir took home a solid silver in the Styrian Grand Prix taking second place 1.5 seconds behind Jorge Martin after making a very late mistake going wide costing himself the victory. This second place at a track which is not favoured by Suzuki has been largely accredited to the new rear ride height adjuster on the Suzuki GSX-RR of Mir which was debuted in FP3.
This device has been used by all manufacturers bar Suzuki this year adding huge gains to anyone who uses it. The ‘Holeshot device’ forces the rear and front (if a front device is fitted) suspension to compress downwards giving the bike a lower centre of gravity improving power delivery allowing it to accelerate faster, dramatically reducing the possibility of the bike doing a wheelie. For a long time Suzuki have not used this device opting out of it instead focusing on having a well-balanced bike with many people at Suzuki not wanting to sacrifice this stability to take a risk on the unknown, after all, if you improve one area you will always lose somewhere else, in this case it is tyre wear.
The device squishes the bike into the tarmac putting more load onto the tyres reducing the life of the tyres, Mir felt this at the Styrian Grand Prix in the latter stages of the race, running wide and spinning up the rear on acceleration as the tyres had worn down significantly. This eventually would cost him victory against the incredibly strong Jorge Martin, Mir couldn’t stay with Martin due to a lack of tyre grip available.
Mir finished only 1.548 seconds behind rookie winner Jorge Martin.
Suzuki’s new device has enabled them to shave off 0.3 seconds from their lap time which in sessions such as qualifying can be huge and can dramatically change the outcome of the following race. Mir took a sensational P5 in qualifying before finishing the race in a strong second place, doubling up on his Assen podium. This fifth-place start is his best qualification of the season after starting many races outside of the top 12 after failing to progress into Q2, even in the races he did get through into Q2 he could only manage a then season-best of P9.
The holeshot device was debuted in FP3 with Mir clearly suffering some discomfort down the straights with the bike handling completely differently, moreso like a chopper than a prototype machine given the lower rear ride height and higher bars. Eventually after getting to grips with how to operate this strange device Mir noted that it has dramatically improved his race saying to MotoGP.com, “I don’t understand how we were strong at the beginning of the season without it [the device].” Adding that he was losing a lot of time and speed against the Ducati’s in the first sector straight between turn one and turn three with the kink acting as turn two.
This massive shift in speed for Suzuki is going to have a huge effect on the rest of their season, Mir is currently sitting in P3 in the standings 51 points behind leader Fabio Quartararo with the upcoming tracks being ones Mir has previously excelled at in 2020 taking double podiums in Misano and Aragon with a victory at Valencia under his belt, not forgetting we are racing once again in Styria next weekend. Suzuki’s recent upgrades could be the final missing piece of the puzzle for Mir to attack for the title.
Featured images – Suzuki MotoGP / MotoGP.com