Joan Mir celebrates after winning his first MotoGP title.
• Joan Mir won the 2020 MotoGP championship.
• The rider won one race in the shortened season for his Suzuki Ecstar team.
• Mir won the championship in Marc Marquez’s absence.
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The 2020 MotoGP season is done and dusted, and Joan Mir was crowned this year’s champion. It’s a significant feather in the cap for the Suzuki Ecstar team as they finally held both championships aloft. In the constructor’s championship, Suzuki finished third behind Ducati and Yamaha.
While Suzuki did not have the best of bikes in this year’s shortened championship, they showed good consistency. And Mir was the rider who steered the team to their championship double in 2020.
But was Mir as good as the final results suggest? Well, he is no Marc Marquez, that’s for damn sure, but when the chequered flag drops for the last time, the points are all that matter.
After 14 rounds, Mir had a total of 171 points to his name, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) on 158 points and Mir’s Suzuki Ecstar team mate, Alex Rins, in third place with 139 points. Clearly, then, the Suzuki Ecstar team brought home the points when it mattered, but that’s only half the story.
At the end of the season, Mir has won only one race: the European Grand Prix, the third last race of the season. He ha suffered three retirements, came home in third on three occasions and second on another three. Morbidelli, on the other hand, won three races, but retired three times and finished second and third on one occasion, each.
On the face of it, Mir did not really do all that much to secure this year’s championship, and his performance reminds of Nico Rosberg’s in 2016 when he cruised to the championship after realizing that he’s got it in the bag. Morbidelli lost out to the championship because he took more risks and made himself count among the top riders on more occasions. Mir did enough to secure the championship, but him winning will have people wondering how on earth he managed to do it.
Mir might not have won the championship in spectacular fashion, but he will definitely be remembered as the rider who won it in Marc Marquez’s absence.
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