After weeks of rumors, it has been confirmed that Joan Mir will join Team Suzuki Ecstar in MotoGP for 2019 and 2020.
The 20-year-old from Palma de Mallorca, is the reigning Moto3 World Champion and he’ll be lining up alongside MotoGP sophomore Alex Rins — continuing Suzuki’s philosophy of continuously searching for young talents to welcome and to help to grow, with Rins now a premier class podium finisher and considered a pillar of the Hamamatsu factory’s project.
Mir debuted in Moto3 in 2015 at the Australian GP, and raced in the same class for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Despite being a learning year for him, in 2016 he managed three podiums with a maiden win, a second and a third place, as well as gearing up for a title charge the following season. In 2017 he took 10 victories, two second places and one third place for a total of 13 podiums and the crown — becoming the first rider since Marc Marquez to take 10 victories in one season in the lightweight class. Now racing in Moto2, Mir has already taken his first two intermediate class podiums and sits fifth in the standings in his rookie year.
“As a team we have always tried to look forward to long term development plans, which includes also making some bets on young riders that we feel can be an investment for the future,” explains Shinichi Sahara, project leader.
“We did it in our debut year in 2015, we did it again in 2017 when we signed the debutant Alex Rins, who has been confirmed also this year, and we are further confirming this with the agreement with Joan Mir. He is a young talent we would like to see grow and help us to grow the GSX-RR and the team with him. He is now involved in the Moto2 class and we definitely want him to enjoy the championship, but we are also eager to start working with him and see him debut in the top class. We believe in his skills.”
“Joan Mir is only 20 years old now, already a World Champion with an impressive 10 wins last year and he has already proven several skills,” says Davide Brivio, team manager. “He is fierce, he is witty, he is nice and he can be very fast. All the characteristics that we like to search for in a young rider, who wants to join us not only for the prestige of a factory machine in the top class but most of all because he believes in our racing project.
“Talking to him I realized how much he has a clear mind, how much he liked our Suzuki project and wanted to join us. This has been a great boost for us. Of course, we know very well that he will need time to gain experience and grow with us, but we have full confidence in his potential. Suzuki management encouraged us to pursue the ‘young rider philosophy’ and with Joan I think we found the perfect protagonist for this role. With Alex and Joan we have two very talented riders and our target is to create a strong team for the future.”