Joan Mir: “My title has merit. Márquez was not kidnapped. He made a mistake that cost him the year”

Joan Mir: “My title has merit. Márquez was not kidnapped. He made a mistake that cost him the year”

The already MotoGP champion enjoys a quiet celebration and claims his merit in the absence of the Honda leader

Joan Mir:

When defeat is not drama, victory is not liberation, simply joy. “I just don't know what to do, I don't know whether to laugh or cry”, Joan Mir admitted when proclaiming himself MotoGP world champion with a celebration that defines him. “How do you feel? How do you feel?”, They insisted and he was only looking for a corner to hug his girlfriend Alejandra and his parents Joan and Ana. There were no choreographies, there were no screams, there were no songs, because there were no there was no Spanish flag, as it was left behind. “Honestly I have not found out what I had to do. They have taken me from one place to the other and I did not hear anything,” he summarized.

When the race finished in Cheste, Mir cried, he was moved for a few seconds, but then everything overwhelmed him: still with tears, with his helmet fogged up, all his rivals congratulated him, his team rushed him, they made him light a Valencian fireworks, he they approached the empty stands as a gesture towards the fans … “I need to be alone, take a shower, go to sleep, to assimilate this,” he admitted after sitting on the ground of the closed circuit park in search of calm.

“The hardest thing for me this year has been not being able to celebrate the good times I've had with my family. I got on my first podium in MotoGP, I won my first race and I couldn't go to see my parents because of the coronavirus. In fact I will remember this season for which I have worked both on and off the circuit so as not to get infected and miss a race, “acknowledged the champion with the umpteenth sample of his thoughtful, calm character. That attitude that led him to appear at the press conference after the podium with the spotless white commemorative shirt, not a stain of champagne. That attitude that led him to demand a party with only “a dozen people”, there will be no big parties, there will be no street parade around Palma. That attitude that ultimately led him to be the fourth Spanish MotoGP champion after Álex Crivillé, Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Márquez .

“I have suffered enough”

Faced with a strange season, due to the coronavirus and the absence of Márquez himself, all the favorites were wrong and Mir stood out simply for not doing it. Although he started the year with two retirements, in the fourth race he got on the podium and did not go down: seven in 10 races, the secret of his success. His performance this Sunday in Cheste, in fact, was a paradigmatic closing for his course. “I don't need to win,” he clarified minutes before starting and, with the math for the title engraved in his mind, he didn't force a single movement too much. What's more, he only overtook Aleix Espargaró to finish seventh.

“I have suffered a lot because I have not felt comfortable and I have had several scares. Fortunately, everything was going well,” said Mir, who once again benefited from the mistakes of his opponents. Fabio Quartararo fell to the ground , Maverick Viñales could only be tenth, Andrea Dovizioso finished right in front of him, Álex Rins rallied to fourth place and, although Franco Morbidelli won, his disadvantage in the classification was already exaggerated. At the second corner of the first lap, Mir was already Marc Márquez's successor as MotoGP champion, thus opening a new era for the championship.

What will happen now? With Mir at the helm, a new generation opens up to discuss Márquez's dominance in recent times. With the same childhood references as him – that is, Valentino Rossi – and only three or four years younger, the group that also forms Rins, Quartararo or Morbidelli promise a more closed competition in which the winner is not known in advance. In his character is not the verbal confrontation that the generation of Rossi, Casey Stoner or Lorenzo assumed when Márquez appeared in MotoGP, but neither are they intimidated by the figure of the Honda star. In fact, this Sunday Mir was asked about the value of his title because of Márquez's absence and his response was strangely aggressive, a rare gesture for him.

“This World Cup has the same merit as any other. Marc was not kidnapped, he was in the first race, he risked to win and made a mistake that cost him the season. That's it. It's part of the sport,” he declared at a press conference before claiming a break from questions and leaving, with his girlfriend and parents to his private party. He did it again without shouting or chanting, so calm. When defeat is not drama, victory is not liberation, simply joy.

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